New directions for assessment of students to be discussed

Published 06 November 2009

tlcThe man who is leading the development of new guidelines for the assessment of students at Australian universities will be talking to lecturers at the University of New England next week.

David Boud, Professor of Adult Education at the University of Technology, Sydney, will present a seminar and conduct an open forum at UNE on Tuesday 10 November as a guest of the University’s Teaching and Learning Centre.

Professor Boud is a Senior Fellow of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). As part of his ALTC Fellowship on “Assessment for learning in and beyond courses”, he has developed the Web site www.assessmentfutures.com. He is currently finalising the outcomes of this work in a report titled Assessment 2020: Propositions for standards-oriented assessment reform.

“‘Assessment Futures’ is based on the proposition that assessment in higher education has been so distorted by concerns about certification and justification that the core purposes at the heart of higher education – and, necessarily, assessment – have been obscured,” Professor Boud says. “Whatever else it does, assessment must support learning. More than this, it must support the processes of learning that students need beyond the point of graduation.

“Assessment must foster the kinds of attitudes and dispositions, as well as the knowledge and skills, learners need for the variety of tasks they will be confronted with throughout their lives. This means that our conception of assessment needs to move beyond that of testing what has been taught, or measuring learning outcomes, to encompass one that builds the capacity of students to be effective assessors for themselves and for others.”

Professor Boud’s seminar at UNE next Tuesday will explore how a more productive use of assessment could further the goals of higher education courses.

Both the seminar and the open forum will be in the Lewis Lecture Theatre. The seminar will run from 1 am till 12.30 pm, and the forum from 3 pm till 4 pm.

“The open forum is an opportunity to learn about Assessment 2020 and engage in further discussion and debate with Professor Boud about what changes in assessment might mean for UNE lecturers and their students,” said Dr Robyn Muldoon, Acting Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre.

“Professor Boud’s presentations will mark the launch of a new occasional series of seminars, workshops, and special interest group meetings on assessment being organised by the Teaching and Learning Centre,” Dr Muldoon said.