Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Assessing Learning conference - Dunedin - DAY 1

Move across from the University of Otago to Otago Polytechnic at lunch time to begin participating in the Assessing Learning Conference. Had to miss first keynote with David Boud.

First up, a workshop with Peter Mellow on effective assessments titled: EdTech in assessment: sinner or saviour? for slides
Presented HoTEL as a grounding framework to inform on pedagogy. However HoTEL does not indigenous knowledge, which has to be woven into the Westernised frameworks. Added the Australian dimension with examples of how indigenous peopled learnt. Also Curtin University e-resource on elearning for processes and approaches. Assessment in the 21st century pedagogy as being the provision of timely and meaningful feedback, relevant tasks, self and peer assessments and clear, transparent goals and objectives. “Good assessment should be a learning experiences”.
Look up sinister 16 – Potter & Kustra (2012) course design for constructive alignment – A primer on learning outcomes.
Reminder on listening to students to find out what assessment strategies do students prefer? Lowest – quizzes, written papers, group projects, middle – audio recordings, open discussion, paired discussion and highest – response to video, twitter summaries, screen casts, field experiences, interviews, work samples.
Need to ensure students KNOW why they are being assessed. Promotes formative assessments as it provides feedback, have opportunities to fail and can be fun (or be a game). Learners need to know whay they are being assessed, how, what rules and the value.
Tools for assessments – organising assessments, grade centres, deployment of assessment (e.g. peer matching, multiple choice quizzes, automate feedback. New technologies not quite there but include grade/analyse/QA/authenticate assessments, automated essay scoring, block chain – authentication, badging / certification, AI, badges / gamification, Learning analytics / assessment analytics, haptics (force feedback).
Solutions to ‘cheating’ include having students pledge not to cheat, sign honour codes etc. Evidence from multimedia evidence has metadata that can be tapped to establish authenticity of data. Use learning analytics to tighten quizzes etc. on LMS – randomise, auto feedback. Revision Assistant can be used by students to obtain formative feedback on essays. Online proctoring is possible, using keyboard recognition, web camera observations and identification of students. So why not make classroom about learning and not testing?? Promoted efficacy of MOOCs – using University of Melbourne examples. Students found in video quizzes (usually questions between slides) useful.
Reommended peerwise as a tool to create a collaborative learning environment. Peermark can be an alternative to turnitin. Perusall – every student prepared for every class – allows students to annotate readings and share with others in the class.

Then support two of eassessment sub-project researchers with their presentations.

First up, Cheryl Stokes from Ara Institute of Canterbury, with ‘developing reflective practice of level 4 cookery students through sensory analysis of food.  Provided overview of her teaching context and background of the project. Especially the shift from unit standards to graduate outcomes and the shift in assessment approach to portfolio instead of exams. Rationalised the research question  - to improve student reflective learning and ability with associated vocabulary to describe the taste, texture of food. Described reflections on who teaching, process and tasting reflective skills could be improved. Discussed challenges – especially how students could improve their mobile learning practices – back up their data on the cloud to access on multiple devices or secure storage in case they lost their device. Showed how research question evolved as project progressed to meet student learning needs. Focused project on improving tasting vocabulary, find appropriate cloud based app to record photos, improve reflective writing. Introduced Mindly as a app to build mindmaps of tasting vocabulary. Allows photos to be linked to text mindmap nodes. But tutors need to refer to the app and how it can be used for students to be engaged. Used google keep to archive notes, add photos, links etc. as a collection tool for their portfolio. Works with various languages, not only in English. Able to be used in tandem with google docs and extension is available on Facebook if Chrome browser is used. Increased integration of the various bits of evidence so collection of evidence can be easier to collate portfolio. Reflected on experience as a researcher working with students in a workroom. Detailed some recommendations – especially support for tutor and timing for introduction of the tools and concepts of reflective learning.

Then James Gropp and Stuart Campbell from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology on ‘using reflective practice in a technical problem based learning environment’. Introduced research question and aircraft engineering background and student cohort – note more than ½ of cohort were international students from a Pacific Island airforce. Shifted from didactic pedgagogy to problem based learning approach. Most important to focus on the learning and make this visible. Set the task to repair an small airplane as the ‘problem’ to be completed. Used aircraft servicing task cards as the basis of the eportfolio. To begin, reflection was poor. 1st cycle did not produce results as students were not taught how to reflect or think through on what they were learning. Therefore, students were task and not learning focused!! Changed questions to include ‘learning’, provided exemplars, tutors changed from engineers to teachers, honouring the learning from errors. Tutor capability developed with daily reflective sessions. 2nd cycle revealed improvement across the board. 3rd cycle ran without changes and evidence of students’ adoption of reflective learning and problem solving.

Next, Dr. Megan Anakin from University of Otago with  ‘constructing a developmental framework to assess reasoning skills’. Detailed background and need for 21st healthcare practice and the challenges of teaching reasoning skills to doctors. Shared progressions used in NZ curriculum / learning maths concepts as examples of frameworks. Defined clinical reasoning, theoretical underpinnings, expert skills, involving students in teaching and how students learning it. Introduced the cognitive models – dual process – fast and slow and script theory. Senior clinicians tended to have CR as tacit and learnt through apprenticeship as modelled to them by their mentors. Developed a framework for students to unravel how the traditional framework is mapped to the real world. Provided medical students with characteristics and outlines to help them practice and select appropriate strategies. Year 2 students still had to depend on ‘scripts’, year 3 starting to realise the complexity and need to adjust their questioning. By Year 6, students able to hone in more quickly and probe deeper to try to diagnose effectively. Need to follow up on this project as there is much of relevance.

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