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Balancing Dilemmas in Assessment and Learning in Contemporary Education


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Tables and illustrations Section 1 Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction: Assessment dilemmas in contemporary learning cultures Anton Havnes and Liz McDowell Setting the scene Modes of assessment in the new culture Balancing dilemmas in assessment practice Levels of social meaning and assessment practices The structure of the book References Chapter 2 The challenges of assessment in a new learning culture Olga Dysthe Introduction and overview The challenge of the backwash effect of assessment: a historical example The challenge from developments in society What knowledge, skills and experiences do students in the 21st century need? The challenge of aligning assessment with theories of knowledge and learning Changing paradigms New modes of assessment aligned to cognitive and situated views of what it means to know New modes of assessment - challenges to teachers and students a. Balancing formative and summative assessment b. Balancing teacher and student control - new roles c. Balancing individual and collaborate work d. Portfolios - "filing cabinet or learning arena"? Summing up challenges for the institution, for the teachers and for the students For teachers: For students the most needed competences relates to: The challenge from global trends towards testing and accountability systems The story of writing assessment in California revisited in 2004 Some challenges for research Conclusion References Section 2 Connecting education and society through assessment Chapter 3 Some Consequences of Writing Assessment Sandra Murphy Multiple-choice tests of written expression Backwash from multiple-choice tests of writing Backwash from direct assessments of writing Backwash from impromptu writing tests Backwash from portfolios Conclusion References Chapter 4 Assessment of writing in Norway: a case of balancing dilemmas Froydis Hertzberg From trust to accountability? The school-leaving exam as evaluated by the QAL project What did we find? A new regime A period of tension and transition Conclusion Literature Chapter 5 Assessing Craft and Design. Conceptions of Expertise in Education and Work Lars Lindstrom Methods Portfolio assessment Repertory grids Results and discussion Process criteria Product criteria Cultures of education and work Conclusion References Chapter 6 Defining authentic assessment - Five dimensions of authenticity Judith T. M. Gulikers, Theo J. Bastiaens and Paul A. Kirschner Introduction The Reasons for Authentic Competency-Based Assessment Defining Authentic Assessment The Criterion Situation Subjectivity of Authenticity: the Role of Perceptions Authenticity of assessment: a multi-facetted concept Five Dimensions of Authenticity Subjectivity of Authentic Assessment: A Qualitative Study Implications for authentic assessment practices References Chapter 7 The role of assessment in preparing for lifelong learning: problems and challenges Nancy Falchikov and David Boud The concept of lifelong learning Problems with lifelong learning 1. Problems with lists 2. Problems with transferability 3. Problems of differences in perception of what constitutes formal and informal learning The role of assessment Indications of change: straws in the wind? Problems of uptake of assessment strategies for long-term learning 1. Systemic barriers 2. Barriers within learners 3. The problem of the unknown future 4. Lack of alignment Some directions for development References Chapter 8 Assessment: a boundary object linking professional education and work? Anton Havnes Introduction Assessment research Learning, knowledge and boundaries Learning as practice in context Contexts and boundaries Boundary objects Assessment and boundaries Transfer - learning - assessment Standard notions of transfer The situated learning paradigm and transfer Cultural-historical activity theory Assessment, boundary crossing and transfer Conclusion Bibliography Section 3 The dilemmas of assessment practice in educational institutions Introduction to section 3 References Chapter 9 A theory based discussion of assessment criteria: the balance between explicitness and negotiation Olga Dysthe, Knut Steinar Engelsen, Tjalve Madsen and Line Wittek Introduction Contrasting student views on criteria from two studies Theoretical framework discussion: communication and participation Dialogism Wenger's communities of practice: participation, reification and negotiation Bakhtin's 'authoritative' and 'inner persuasive word' Criteria as reifications of negotiated practice in portfolio assessment Summary and practical implications Explicit criteria and negotiation are complementary Avoid instrumentalism by fostering a culture for collaboration Students should be involved in assessment Summary References Chapter 10 Real or imagined? The shift from norm referencing to criterion referencing in higher education Susan Orr Assessment as a social practice or a technical process? Norm referencing Learning outcomes and criterion referencing Institutional and social contexts of assessment in UK Higher Education Assessment practice in the contemporary context Dilemmas Policy into Practice References Chapter 11 Teacher or assessor? Balancing the tensions between formative and summative assessment in science teaching Olga Gioka Introduction Formative assessment Science in the upper secondary school: the research study The importance of the exam Coursework assessment - formative or summative? Separating teaching/learning and assessment Embedding coursework in formative assessment practices Differences between teachers in formative assessment practice Ways forward Acknowledgements References Chapter 12 Changing assessment practices in Norwegian higher education - from where to where? Per Lauvas Introduction From where? the context of assessment in Norwegian higher education The external examiners: rights and equity Modularisation of higher education: assessment and attainment Reliability of assessment Standards and validity Assessment and motivation Making the transition - to where? Scenario 1: Continuous assessment to replace, or complement, final examinations Scenario 2: Separate formative and summative assessment The power of formative assessment: a case study Conclusions References Chapter 13 Performance Assessment in Nursing Education: Exploring Different Perspectives Marieke H. S. B. Smits, Dominique M. A. Sluijsmans and Wim M. G. Jochems Introduction Turning Performance Assessment into Practice Day 1: anamnesis/problem anamnesis/diagnosis Day 2: nursing plan Day 3: intervention plan Days 4 & 5: conducting interventions Research Method Participants Materials Questionnaire Results Utility of performance assessment Students' perceptions Teachers' perceptions Professionals' perceptions Consequences of performance assessment Students' perceptions Teachers' perceptions Professionals' perceptions Comments and suggestions Student comments Teacher comments Professionals' comments Balancing different perspectives: Implications and Dilemmas References Chapter 14 The Challenge of Assessing Portfolios; in search of criteria Kari Smith and Harm Tillema Raising standards in portfolio appraisal The study Findings I Open Inventory Phase II In search of criteria use on the Internet III Towards a Typology of Criteria Use A) Criteria as Judging Evidence B) Criteria as Rules of Accountability C) Criteria as Critical Appraisal Perspective and Proposal References Chapter 15 A Workplace Perspective on School Assessment Steinar Kvale Learning through assessment of practice Practice assessment from the perspective of learning psychology Dilemmas of workplace assessment School assessment from a workplace perspective Differences between workplace and school as learning arenas Conclusion: school assessment in a knowledge-based economy References Section 4 Assessment, learners and teachers Introduction to section 4 Chapter 16 Assessment for learners: Assessment literacy and the development of learning power Patricia Broadfoot Introduction The assessment disease The assessment disease: treating the symptoms The assessment disease: finding a cure? Conclusion References Chapter 17 Academics' and academic developers' view of student self-assessment Kelvin Tan Introduction Methodology Academics' views of student self-assessment Teacher- driven self-assessment Program-driven self-assessment Future-driven self-assessment Academic developers' views of student self-assessment Benefits of student self-assessment Dilemmas Conclusion References Chapter 18 Students' experiences of feedback on academic assignments in higher education: implications for practice Liz McDowell Introduction Research Method Results The Gathering Pathway Overview Feedback What is attended to? What does it mean to the student? How does student feel about it? Connecting Overview Feedback What is attended to? What does it mean to the student? How does student feel about it? Minimalist Overview Feedback What is attended to? What does it mean to the student? How does student feel about it? Performing Overview Feedback What is attended to? What does it mean to the student? How does student feel about it? Discussion: Supporting different pathways through feedback Conclusions References Chapter 19 Assessment beyond Belief: The cognitive process of grading Janice Orrell Introduction Research studies on grading Research study: grading in higher education Identifying Assessment Behaviours Features of Common Assessment Practice Stages in the assessment and grading process The Relationship of Assessment with Teaching and Learning Validity and standards Bias and reliability Feedback Lack of problematisation of grading Conclusion References Section 5 Epilogue Chapter 20 Balancing dilemmas: traditional theories and new applications Dylan Wiliam Introduction Why do we assess? The validity of assessments Meanings and consequences of assessment Continuous vs. one-off assessment Interpreting assessment outcomes Conclusion References Contributors

About the Author

Anton Havnes is an educational developer and Associate Professor at Centre for Educational Research and Development at Oslo University College. His main areas of research are learning in higher education and the workplace, as well as assessment in higher education. Liz McDowell is an educational researcher, developer and teacher at Northumbria University, UK, a National Teaching Fellow and Director of a national Centre for Excellence in Assessment for Learning. Her research interests are in assessment and student experiences of learning. She has thirty publications on these topics over the past ten years.

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