Moving the focus from grades to feedback: A case study of pass/fail marking
Assessment is a crucial aspect of academic work. Indeed, there is substantial literature on assessment design and how to ensure the integrity of students’ learning. Much work goes into enhancing assessment practices to ensure the validity of assessment to safeguard the reliability of students’ knowledge. Yet relatively little research has investigated how university educators might learn about significant assessment concepts through experiencing them for themselves. This evaluation sought to explore how a change in a marking approach on a professional development module for academics supported an assessment for learning approach. The reasons for the change are described and the experience of implementing a pass/fail model on an assessment-focused module is discussed. Data was collected from an interactive student activity, external examiner feedback, and a module evaluation survey. Findings indicated a range of reactions suggesting that consultation processes, orientation time, student involvement, and care with nomenclature are required by those considering similar changes.
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