Possible reforms in recording student achievement

(linked to the University green paper on Grade Point Average)

Workshop

Abstract

The green paper "Recording Student Achievement" outlines the many criticisms of current assessment practices and the current honours system, and presents arguments for and against adopting a Grade Point Average system, along with a range of other independent possible changes in practice for the university to consider.  After a brief summary/introduction of the green paper and its intentions, participants will be put into 4 groups, each with the task of considering one of the more radical possible reforms suggested in the green paper (namely proposals: A2, A3, A4, & B1 - see below*).  The groups will be invited to consider the proposal against the performance criteria suggested in the green paper: fitness for purpose; simplicity & transparency; validity, reliability & equity; efficiency; enhancement of student motivation/learning; cost/benefit. Groups will report their conclusions under these headings on large posters.

*The 4 proposals to be considered:

  • A2: Moving to pass/fail for all assessments, modules and awards
  • A3: Using shorter scales (4 point or 15 point) for marking individual qualitative assignments
  • A4: Employing grade profiling for calculation of final awards
  • B1: Basing final award calculations on student performance against programme learning outcomes

It is hoped that participants will benefit in 3 ways:

  • Raised awareness about the green paper
  • The opportunity to debate some of the ideas with colleagues from other parts of the university
  • The opportunity to feed their opinions, which will be taken back by the presenters, into the consultation

Keywords:  assessment, accreditation