31. Reviewing learning and curriculum design
51:49Sarah Knight chats with consultants Helen Beetham and Sheila MacNeill about their recent review of learning and curriculum design in higher education. We chat with Helen and Sheila about the findings from their review, which included a desk-based literature review, a survey of over 155 professionals and 20 interviews with staff from within higher education. Alongside this, they also share examples of how universities are evolving their learning and curriculum design practices, and discuss how we can integrate things that worked well during the pandemic.
Rethinking assessment and feedback - Shifting to digital assessment
36:20We’re joined by Simon Walker, Director of programme development at University College London, to discuss how they have moved to digital assessment by default. Simon starts by talking through the challenges they have been facing with assessment, including how they had previously recognised that it was out of kilter with the student’s expectations for a modern education system. The pandemic enabled them to take a bold step toward adapting their practices, adopting an end-to-end digital assessment platform. We then discuss how they have supported staff with their assessment and feedback practices, adopting a team of digital assessment advisers who help onboard faculties and share best practices.
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Rethinking assessment and feedback - Unlocking the power of comparison based feedback
58:00In this episode, we are joined by Professor David Nicol, Suzanne McCallum, Lovleen Kushwah and Nick Quinn from The Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow to chat about how they are using comparison based feedback to improve their assessment and feedback practices. Professor David Nicol, Research Professor: Teaching Excellence Initiative, at The Adam Smith Business School, starts by taking us through the research they have undertaken into feedback, looking at what feedback students generate themselves when asked to compare their work against other types of information such as videos, textbooks or lecture notes, instead of a teacher’s comments. David’s research found that students generate significant feedback on their own whilst also reducing the need for teacher comments. He then explains the three concepts behind the work at the university: All feedback is inner feedback - students are the protagonist of feedback. All feedback is a result of a comparison process. What students compare their work against determines the type of feedback they generate - Different kinds of information results in different kinds of feedback. Suzanne McCallum, Lovleen Kushwah and Dr Nick Quinn then speak about the methods they are using to bring this comparison based feedback approach to life, sharing how they have found it so far and the feedback they have had from students.
Rethinking assessment and feedback: Creating a shared vision
45:30In this third episode of our mini-series on rethinking assessment and feedback, we are joined by Karen Barton, director of the learning and teaching innovation centre at the University of Hertfordshire. Karen shares some of the feedback they have had from students on assessment including, providing authentic assessment, providing personalised assessment where possible and changes to the workloads/phasing of assessment. We then discuss a recent consultation and review that the university has taken to help identify the changes needed to support their vision for teaching, learning, and assessment. The review helped develop the ‘Herts learning principles’, which were created to help address some areas that the university sees as important in the future, with one of these principles being around how they harness technology to support their strategy. We also discuss how the university is supporting staff to take these new assessment practices forward, discussing how they created an assessment experts group within the university to provide policy outputs, direction, and guidance for staff. Lastly, Karen shares what she thinks are the critical success factors that need to be in place within an institution to help realise affective assessment and feedback.
Rethinking assessment and feedback: Providing personalised feedback at scale
35:28In this episode of our rethinking assessment and feedback mini-series, Sarah Knight chats with Danny Liu and Benjamin Miller about how they are adapting their assessment and feedback practices at The University of Sydney. Danny and Benjamin start by sharing some of the issues and challenges that an institution-wide review into assessment picked up, including assessment weighting, group work and assessment feedback. They then talk about how the development of the student relationship engagement system (SRES) has helped solve the problem of engaging a large number of students with personalised feedback and personal care. Finally, they share their tips and advice on the steps UK universities could take to improve their assessment and feedback practices.
Rethinking assessment and feedback: How the landscape is changing
28:16As part of our ‘rethinking assessment and feedback’ mini-series, Sarah Knight is joined by Gill Ferrell to chat about the newly released review into the UK assessment and feedback landscape in higher education. This episode forms part of our mini-series ‘rethinking assessment and feedback’ hosted by Sarah Knight. Over the next few months these episodes, Sarah will chat with experts from universities across the world about how they are rethinking their assessment and feedback practices. Gill discusses the results of a survey of 46 higher education providers on what aspects of assessment and feedback they are currently supporting with technology, what has changed over time, and their current use of online submissions and marking. Sarah also chats with Gill about the principles of good assessment and feedback featured in our new guide. Gill shares some real-world examples from universities across the world of how some of these principles are effectively being applied today.
30. Bringing examinations online
31:10In this episode, we chat with Rob Blagden, director of libraries, technology & information at the University of Gloucestershire. Rob talks through the steps his university took to bring over almost all of their exams online, sharing the successes and hurdles they encountered along the way. He also goes through the feedback received from staff and students on the process. We also discuss the future technologies that excite Rob, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and how cloud computing can help enable that.
29. Using AI to support and enhance formative assessment
40:26This week we chatted with Aftab Hussain, information learning technology manager at Bolton College, about Firstpass, an automated system that helps automate the marking and feedback of open-ended questions using artificial intelligence Aftab talks through the benefits of Firstpass, sharing how the system can help reduce the burden on teachers when marking formative assessments, whilst providing students with instant feedback to their answers. Lastly, Aftab shares the latest updates and progress of Ada, Bolton college's digital assistant which went live in 2017.
28. Digital assessment at scale
41:04This week Derfel Owen, Registrar and director of student and registry services at University College London, joins us to talk about how the university moved their exams online as part of a university wide digital assessment strategy. Derfel explains how and why the university chose to transition exams to online at such scale, providing more than 20,000 students with 1200 digital exams in Spring 2021. He also shares the lessons learnt from the project, and provides advice about how other institutions could approach bringing assessments online. We also discuss the future of assessment, looking into how things such as artificial intelligence help to improve the assessment marking process.
27. How the role of teaching staff has changed since the pandemic
28:19In this episode we are joined by Clare Killen, senior consultant for the business intelligence team at Jisc, to talk about the findings from the recently released HE and FE staff digital experience insight surveys. The annual survey polls over 6,500 teaching staff in further and higher education, looking into their experiences of using technology to support their teaching. Clare provides an interesting deep dive analysis into the results, as well as suggesting what can be done to support staff digital skills going forward. The episode also investigates how the role of teaching staff has changed since the pandemic.