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Using Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

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Title: Using Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria


1
Using Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria
  • Peter Noakes
  • Department of Electronic Systems Engineering
  • University of Essex

2
Purpose of this Talk
  • To provide an introduction to topics and related
    background information that will help us to
    provide more concise module specifications
  • To improve your efficiency in generating
    appropriate Learning Outcomes, Assessment Methods
    and Assessment Criteria for the modules you teach
  • At the same time provide better transparency for
    students by making module specifications clearer
    and unambiguous
  • and improve students commitment to self learning
    by clarifying what is expected of a student
  • Consequently this should improve student
    progression and encourage better student retention

3
Structure of Talk
  • Background
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Level Descriptors (QAA, SEEC, EPC)
  • Assessment Methods
  • Assessment Criteria
  • An Example for You
  • Report Back and Discussion

4
Reference Sources
  • This presentation is based on the content of the
    following publications
  • How to use Level Descriptors by Jenny Moon,
    SEEC, 2002
  • How to Use Learning Outcomes and Assessment
    Criteria by David Gosling and Jenny Moon, SEEC,
    3rd Edition 2002
  • Assessment A Guide for Lecturers by George
    Brown, LTSN Generic Centre, 2001
  • Guide for Busy Academics, LTSN Generic Centre
  • Southern England Consortium for Credit
    Accumulation and Transfer
  • (http//www.seec-office.org.uk )

5
Background
  • A Programme defines study or learning required to
    achieve an award or qualification
  • A Programme Specification is required by the QAA
    for each award or qualification and defines the
    threshold learning outcomes for the programme
  • A Programme comprises a number of Modules each of
    which is separately assessed and earns credit
    when successfully completed
  • Using the outcomes model each Module Description
    defines the intended (threshold?) learning
    outcomes, the syllabus coverage and the
    assessment methods and criteria for the module.
  • Achievement of Module Learning Outcome should
    contribute to a students satisfaction of the
    programme learning outcomes

6
Learning Outcome-based Model
  • Traditionally an academic would first define the
    syllabus coverage, then develop how its taught
    and finally determine the method of assessing the
    students absorption of the material.
  • The outcome-based model has three interconnected
    components
  • An explicit statement of learning intent
    (intended learning outcome) which focuses on what
    the student is expected to know and be able to do
    by the end of the module, expressed in a form
    that permits their achievement to be demonstrated
    and measured
  • The processes and resources to enable the
    outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated
    (curriculum, teaching, learning methods and
    materials, assessment and support and guidance
    methods)
  • The criteria for assessing whether the intended
    learning outcomes have been achieved and for
    differentiating the performance of students.
  • They are dependent on the level at which the
    module is targeted

7
Level / Qualification Descriptors?
  • A Level is an indicator of the relative demand,
    complexity, depth of study and learner autonomy
  • A Level (Qualification) Descriptor is a generic
    statement describing the characteristics and
    context of learning expected at each specific
    level.
  • Module Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria
    are reviewed with respect to a level descriptor
    when developing a module and assigning credit at
    the appropriate level.
  • QAA defines Qualification Descriptors in the
    Qualification Framework for Higher Education as
    Level C, Level I, Level H and Level M. These
    broadly correspond to Years 1, 2, 3 and first
    year postgraduate level respectively
  • SEEC defines Level Descriptors as Level Zero,
    Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Masters Level.
    These broadly correspond to preliminary Year,
    Years 1, 2, 3 and first year postgraduate level
    respectively

8
Level Descriptors?
  • Think of Level Descriptors as a means of
    communication about expectations of students
    study
  • They are not rigid but developmental
  • Student Learning is commonly described in terms
    of
  • complexity of knowledge and understanding
  • standard of cognitive skills
  • key or transferable skills achieved
  • the expected responsibility of the learner
  • the autonomy or independence of the learner
  • amount of guidance required by the learner
  • Be careful of differences in the implied standard
    of learning!
  • Is it defined for a threshold student, an average
    (or typical!) student or the best student?

9
Hierarchy of the Cognitive Domain
  • Evaluation Ability to make a judgement of the
    worth of something
  • Synthesis Ability to combine separate elements
    into a whole
  • Analysis Ability to break a problem into its
    constituent parts and establish the
    relationships between each one
  • Application Ability to apply rephrased knowledge
    in a novel situation
  • Manipulation Ability to rephrase knowledge
  • 1 Knowledge That which can be recalled
  • Based on Blooms Taxonomy of Educational
    Objectives

10
Programme Learning Outcomes
  • Guidance is provided by
  • QAA Level H Descriptors and Benchmark Statements
    for
  • Engineering
  • Computing
  • Biosciences
  • SEECs generic HE Level 3 Definition
  • Engineering Professors Conferences 26 Ability
    to Statements for Engineering Programmes
  • Also see the accreditation requirements used by
    Professional Bodies (e.g. Engineering Councils
    SARTOR 97 or latest UK SPEC)

11
QAA General Honours Descriptors Level H
- A
  • Students successfully completing programme
    requirements at this level will have
    demonstrated
  • a systematic understanding of key aspects of
    their field of study, including acquisition of
    coherent and detailed knowledge, at least some of
    which is at or informed by, the forefront of
    defined aspects of a discipline
  • an ability to deploy accurately established
    techniques of analysis and enquiry within a
    discipline
  • conceptual understanding that enables the
    student
  • to devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve
    problems, using ideas and techniques, some of
    which are at the forefront of a discipline and
  • to describe and comment upon particular aspects
    of current research, or equivalent advanced
    scholarship, in the discipline
  • an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and
    limits of knowledge
  • the ability to manage their own learning, and to
    make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources
    (e.g. refereed research articles and/or original
    materials appropriate to the discipline).

12
QAA General Honours Descriptors Level H
- B
  • Typically, successful students at this level will
    be able to
  • apply the methods and techniques that they have
    learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply
    their knowledge and understanding, and to
    initiate and carry out projects
  • critically evaluate arguments, assumptions,
    abstract concepts and data (that may be
    incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame
    appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or
    identify a range of solutions - to a problem
  • communicate information, ideas, problems, and
    solutions to both specialist and non-specialist
    audiences
  • and will have
  • qualities and transferable skills necessary for
    employment requiring
  • the exercise of initiative and personal
    responsibility
  • decision-making in complex and unpredictable
    contexts and
  • the learning ability needed to undertake
    appropriate further training of a professional or
    equivalent nature.

13
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Development of
Knowledge and Understanding
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner has a given factual and /or conceptual knowledge base with emphasis on the field of study and appropriate technology The Learner has a detailed knowledge of major theories of the discipline and an awareness of a variety of ideas, contexts and frameworks The Learner has a comprehensive / detailed knowledge of a major discipline with areas of specialisation in depth and awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge
The Learner can demonstrate awareness of ethical issues in current areas of study and is able to discuss these in relation to personal beliefs and values The Learner is aware of the wider social and environmental implications of area of study and is able to debate issues in relation to more general perspectives The Learner is aware of personal responsibility and professional codes of conduct and can incorporate a critical ethical dimension into a major piece of work
Knowledge Base
Ethical Issues
14
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Cognitive /
Intellectual Skills - A
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can analyse with guidance using given classifications / principles The Learner can analyse a range of information with minimum guidance using given classifications / principles and can compare alternative methods and techniques for obtaining data The Learner can analyse new and / or abstract data and situations without guidance, using a range of techniques appropriate to the subject
The Learner can collect and categorise ideas and information in a predictable and standard format The Learner can reformat a range of ideas and information towards a given purpose The Learner with minimum guidance can transform abstract data and concepts towards a given purpose and can design novel solutions
Analysis
Synthesis
15
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Cognitive /
Intellectual Skills - B
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can evaluate the reliability of data using defined techniques and / or tutor guidance The Learner can select appropriate techniques of evaluation and can evaluate the relevance and significance of the data collected The Learner can critically evaluate evidence to support conclusions / recommendations, reviewing its reliability validity and significance. Can investigate contradictory information / identify reasons for contradictions
The Learner can apply given tools / methods accurately and carefully to a well defined problem and begin to appreciate the complexity of the issues The Learner can identify key elements of problems and choose appropriate methods for their resolution in a considered manner The Learner is confident and flexible in identifying and defining complex problems and can apply appropriate knowledge and skills to their solution
Evaluation
Application
16
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Key /
Transferable Skills - A
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can work effectively with others as a member of a group and meet obligations to others (e.g. tutors, peers and colleagues). The Learner can interact effectively with a team / learning group, giving and receiving information and ideas and modifying response where appropriate. The Learner can interact effectively with a team / learning group / professional group, recognise, support or be proactive in leadership, negotiate in a professional context and manage conflict.
The Learner can work within an appropriate ethos and can use and access a range of learning resources. The Learner can manage learning using resources for the discipline. Can develop working relationships of a professional nature within the discipline. The Learner with minimum guidance can manage own learning using a full range of resources for the discipline. Can work professionally within the discipline.
Group Working
Learning Resources
17
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Key /
Transferable Skills - B
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can evaluate own strengths and weakness within criteria largely set by others. The Learner can evaluate own strengths and weakness, challenge received opinion and develop own criteria and judgement. The Learner is confident in application of own criteria of judgement and can challenge received opinion and reflect on action. Can seek and make use of feedback.
The Learner can manage information, collect appropriate data from a range of sources and undertake simple research tasks with external guidance. The Learner can manage information. Can select appropriate data from a range of sources and develop appropriate research strategies. The Learner can select and manage information, competently undertake reasonably straight-forward research tasks with minimum guidance
Self Evaluation
Information Mangement
18
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Key /
Transferable Skills - C
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can take responsibility for own learning with appropriate support. The Learner can take responsibility for own learning with minimum direction. The Learner can take responsibility for own work and can criticise it.
The Learner can communicate effectively in a format appropriate to the discipline and report practical procedures in a clear and concise manner. The Learner can communicate effectively in a manner appropriate to the discipline and report practical procedures in a clear and concise manner in a variety of formats. The Learner can engage effectively in debate in a professional manner and produce detailed and coherent project reports
Autonomy
Communications
19
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Key /
Transferable Skills - D
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can apply given tools / methods accurately and carefully to a well defined problem and begin to appreciate the complexity of the issues in the discipline. The Learner can identify key areas of problems and choose appropriate tools / methods for their resolution in a considered manner. The Learner is confident and flexible in identifying and defining complex problems and the application of appropriate knowledge, tools / methods to their solution.
Problem Solving
20
SEEC Generic Level Descriptors Practical Skills
HE Level 1 HE Level 2 HE Level 3
The Learner can operate in predictable, defined contexts that require use of a specified range of standard techniques. The Learner can operate in situations of varying complexity and predictability requiring application of a wide range of techniques. The Learner can operate in complex and unpredictable contexts, requiring selection and application from a wide range of innovative or standard techniques.
The Learner is able to act with limited autonomy, under direction or supervision, within defined guidelines. The Learner is able to act with increasing autonomy, with reduced need for supervision and direction, within defined guidelines. The Learner is able to act autonomously, with minimal supervision or direction, within agreed guidelines.
Application of Skills
Autonomy in Skill use
21
Engineering Professors Conference EPC Generic
Ability to statements - A
  • Ability to exercise Key Skills in the completion
    of engineering-related tasks at a level implied
    by the benchmarks associated with the following
    statements.
  • Key Skills for engineering are Communication, IT,
    Application of Number, Working with Others,
    Problem Solving, Improving Own Learning and
    Performance.
  • Ability to transform existing systems into
    conceptual models.
  • This means the ability to
  • Elicit and clarify client's true needs.
  • Identify, classify and describe engineering
    systems.
  • Define real target systems in terms of objective
    functions, performance specifications and other
    constraints (i.e. define the problem).
  • Take account of risk assessment, and social and
    environmental impacts, in the setting of
    constraints (including legal, and health and
    safety issues).
  • Select, review and experiment with existing
    engineering systems in order to obtain a database
    of knowledge and understanding that will
    contribute to the creation of specific real
    target systems.
  • Resolve difficulties created by imperfect and
    incomplete information.
  • Derive conceptual models of real target systems,
    identifying the key parameters.

22
Engineering Professors Conference EPC Generic
Ability to statements - B
  • Ability to transform conceptual models into
    determinable models.
  • This means the ability to
  • Construct determinable models over a range of
    complexity to suit a range of conceptual models.
  • Use mathematics and computing skills to create
    determinable models by deriving appropriate
    constitutive equations and specifying appropriate
    boundary conditions.
  • Use industry standard software tools and
    platforms to set up determinable models.
  • Recognise the value of Determinable Models of
    different complexity and the limitations of their
    application.
  • Ability to use determinable models to obtain
    system specifications in terms of parametric
    values.
  • This means the ability to
  • Use mathematics and computing skills to
    manipulate and solve determinable models and use
    data sheets in an appropriate way to supplement
    solutions.
  • Use industry standard software platforms and
    tools to solve determinable models.
  • Carry out a parametric sensitive analysis.
  • Critically assess results and, if inadequate or
    invalid, improve knowledge database by further
    reference to existing systems, and/or improve
    performance of determinable models.

23
Engineering Professors Conference EPC Generic
Ability to statements
- C
  • Ability to select optimum specifications and
    create physical models.
  • This means the ability to
  • Use objective functions and constraints to
    identify optimum specifications.
  • Plan physical modelling studies, based on
    determinable modelling, in order to produce
    critical information.
  • Test and collate results, feeding these back into
    determinable models.
  • Ability to apply the results from physical models
    to create real target systems.
  • This means the ability to
  • Write sufficiently detailed specifications of
    real target systems, including risk assessments
    and impact statements.
  • Select production methods and write method
    statements.
  • Implement production and deliver products fit for
    purpose, in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Operate within relevant legislative frameworks.
  • Ability to critically review real target systems
    and personal performance.
  • This means the ability to
  • Test and evaluate real systems in service against
    specification and client needs.
  • Recognise and make critical judgements about
    related environmental, social, ethical and
    professional issues.
  • Identify professional, technical and personal
    development needs and undertake appropriate
    training and independent research.

24
Working with Level Descriptors
  • They should be seen as helpful guides rather than
    dictates
  • They are generic and may contain sections not
    appropriate to a particular programme
  • They may not cover all possible learning that is
    relevant to the programme.
  • The words become more meaningful if you look at
    descriptors at the previous and next level
  • Look at the relationship between descriptors at
    the same level as they do not function
    independently of each other
  • Use them to provide an appropriate vocabulary to
    describe learning

25
A Module Specification from a Clean Sheet!
Generic Level Descriptors
Identify Aim of Module
Translate Level Descriptors into Subject
Descriptors
Develop the module and rethink it including the
initial learning outcomes
Write Learning Outcomes
Write Threshold and Grading Assessment Criteria
Develop Assessment Method to test achievement of
assessment criteria
Develop a teaching strategy to enable learners to
reach the learning outcomes / assessment criteria
26
Writing Module Specifications
  • Clearly identify the intended level of the module
  • Formulate clear and unambiguous intended
    threshold and possibly desirable learning
    outcomes for the module
  • The threshold learning outcomes identify the
    essential learning to merit the award of the
    credits for this module
  • Desirable learning outcomes can be included to
    provide guidance of learning above threshold
    which will be assessed to provide grading
  • Identify assessment criteria that encourage
    learning at the appropriate level
  • Threshold assessment criteria should specify how
    satisfactory performance of the threshold module
    learning outcomes can be demonstrated
  • Grading-related assessment criteria are used to
    provide incentive for higher achievement above
    threshold performance

27
Writing a Module Description in Reality!
Generic Level Descriptors
Existing Aims, Objectives and Syllabus Content of
Module
Translate Level Descriptors into Subject
Descriptors
Review Aim of Module
Existing Assignments and Laboratories
Rewrite Objectives as Learning Outcomes
Develop the module and rethink it including the
initial learning outcomes
Write Threshold and Grading Assessment Criteria
Modify Existing Assessment Methods to test
achievement of assessment criteria
Modify current teaching strategy to enable
learners to reach the learning outcomes /
assessment criteria
28
Writing Learning Outcomes
  • A well written learning outcome is likely to
    contain
  • A verb that indicates what the learner is
    expected to be able to do at the end of the
    period of learning
  • Word(s) that indicate on what or with what the
    learner is acting. If the outcome is about a
    skill then the word may describe the way the
    skill is performed
  • Word(s) that indicate the nature (in context or
    terms of standard) of the performance required as
    evidence that the learning was achieved

29
Examples of Learning Outcomes
  • The learner is expected to be able to
  • demonstrate understanding of the purpose and
    operation of the hardware and software components
    present in personal computers, microprocessors
    and embedded processor applications.
    (Level 1 Computer Systems)
  • explain the physical basis of the operation of
    Metal Oxide Semiconductor Transistors (MOSFETs)
    and obtain the small signal model of a MOSFET

    (Level 2 Electronic Devices)

30
Features of Good Learning Outcomes
  • Must be achievable by students within the time
    available and at the level of learning at which
    the students are. Be realistic!
  • Written in terms of the learner being expected
    to be able or as intended learning outcomes
  • Should specify areas of learning rather than
    specific curriculum
  • There should be in the range of 4 to 10 learning
    outcomes per module too many makes statements
    of the assessment criteria unmanageable
  • Should be written in a language that is
    understood by all and is unambiguous
  • Each intended learning outcome should represent a
    major achievement expected by students at the end
    of the module
  • Learning outcomes must be assessable by a
    reasonable and manageable form of assessment
    within the time allocated to the module
  • Achievement of each threshold learning outcome is
    essential in order to pass the module

31
Vocabulary for Writing Learning Outcomes and
Assessment Criteria - A
  • Verbs which require evidence of knowing
  • Be aware of, define, describe, extract, identify,
    know, label, list, match, measure, name,
    organise, outline, present, recall, recognise,
    recount, relate, repeat, select, state,
    underline, write.
  • Verbs which require evidence of comprehension
  • Clarify, classify, compare, comprehend, contrast,
    convert, defend, describe, discuss, distinguish,
    estimate, exemplify, explain, express, extend,
    find, formulate, generalise, give examples of,
    identify, illustrate, indicate, infer, interpret,
    judge, justify, name, paraphrase, perform,
    predict, present, report, represent, restate,
    rewrite, select, summarise, translate,
    understand.
  • Verbs which require evidence of knowledge /
    understanding
  • Apply, arrange, assess, change, choose, compute,
    construct, demonstrate, discover, draw (up),
    exemplify, explain how, find, give examples,
    illustrate, manipulate, modify, operate, order,
    practice, predict, prepare, produce, relate,
    select, show, solve, use, verify

32
Vocabulary for Writing Learning Outcomes and
Assessment Criteria - B
  • Verbs which require evidence of analysis
  • analyse, break down, calculate, categorise,
    compare, conclude, contrast, criticise, devote,
    diagnose, differentiate, distinguish between,
    divide, elucidate, evaluate, examine, identify,
    illustrate how, infer, justify, outline, point
    out, precis, question, recognise, relate,
    resolve, select, separate, subdivide.
  • Verbs which require evidence of synthesis
  • account for, alter, argue, build up, combine,
    compile, compose, conclude, create, derive,
    design, develop, devise, engender, enlarge,
    explain, formulate, generalise, generate,
    integrate, manage, modify, order, organise, plan,
    prepare, present, produce, propose, put together,
    rearrange, reconstruct, relate, reorganise,
    report, restate, revise, select, structure,
    suggest, summarise, synthesise, teach, tell,
    write.
  • Verbs which require evidence of evaluation
  • appraise, assess, choose, compare, conclude,
    contrast, criticise, defend, describe how,
    determine, discriminate, estimate, evaluate,
    judge, justify, measure, question, rate, value.

33
Examples of Learning Outcomes
  • Discuss and comment on the following threshold
    learning outcomes
  • Describe the structure of telecommunications
    networks (Level 1)
  • Understand the ideas of differentiation and
    integration (Level 1)
  • Understand the principles of human cognitive
    systems and motor performance when operating
    interactive computer systems (Level 2)
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication skills
    (Level 2)
  • Appreciate the use of the z-transform in digital
    signal processing (Level 3)
  • Improve at working in software engineering teams
    (Level 3)
  • Describe the principal characteristics of human
    vision, hearing and speech relevant to
    audiovisual communication and their exploitation
    in image, video, and audio compression (Level 3)

34
Purposes of Assessment
  • To provide a licence to proceed to the next stage
    of the programme or to graduation
  • To classify the performance of the student in
    rank order
  • To improve student learning by providing feedback
    on his or her strengths and weaknesses
  • To motivate the student to learn
  • To provide information for future selection or as
    a licence to practice
  • To evaluate the course and improve teaching
  • These may overlap or conflict!
  • A common error is to assume that the results of
    an assessment task used for one purpose are
    appropriate for another purpose

35
Some Principles of Assessment
  • Assessment shapes learning
  • therefore change assessment to change learning
  • Match the assessment tasks to the learning
    outcomes
  • Match the assessment criteria to the task and the
    learning outcomes
  • Keep the assessment criteria simple
  • Be fair, reliable and valid in your marking
  • Provide meaningful and timely feedback
  • Do we apply these principles?

36
Some Assessment Methods
  • Formal Examinations
  • Knowledge and Understanding
  • Analytical Ability
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication Skills
  • Progress tests
  • Knowledge and Understanding
  • Simple Problem Solving
  • Formal Practical Experiments
  • Following Instructions and Recording Results
  • Practical Ability
  • Written Reports or Software Documentation
  • Projects
  • Requirement Analysis, Research, Problem Solving /
    Synthesis
  • Practical Development
  • Oral and Written Communication
  • Possibly Group Working
  • Other Coursework Assignments

37
Common Weaknesses in Assessment
  • Tasks do not match the stated outcomes
  • Criteria do not match the tasks or outcomes
  • Criteria not known to and/or not understood by
    the students
  • Overuse of one method of assessment
  • Overload of students and/or staff
  • Insufficient time for students to do the
    assignments
  • To many assignments with the same deadline
  • Insufficient time for staff to mark examination
    or assignment
  • Absence of well defined criteria so consistency
    is difficult to achieve
  • Unduly specific criteria which create a
    straightjacket for students
  • Inadequate or superficial feedback provided to
    students
  • Wide variation in marking between modules and
    within assessors
  • Variation in assessment demands of different
    modules

38
Designing Assessments
  • Some questions to be considered
  • What are the learning outcomes to be assessed?
  • What are the capabilities / skills either
    implicit of explicit, within the learning
    outcomes?
  • Is the method of assessment chosen appropriate to
    the outcomes and skills?
  • Is the method relatively efficient in terms of
    student time and staff time?
  • What alternatives are there and what are their
    advantages and disadvantages?
  • Does the specific assessment task match the
    outcomes and skills?
  • Are the marking schemes or criteria appropriate?

39
Assessment Criteria a definition
  • Not to be confused with assessment methods or
    tasks
  • Assessment Criteria provide a clear indication of
    how achievement may be demonstrated
  • Often specified with respect to each learning
    outcome, they describe what a learner is expected
    to do in order to demonstrate that the learning
    outcome has been achieved.
  • Assessment Criteria may be used in three ways
  • To confirm achievement of threshold standards
  • To define what is expected in order to achieve
    each of the grades being awarded
  • To specify a template of characteristics or
    qualities against which the students performance
    of the assessment task will be judged

40
Writing Assessment Criteria
  1. Consider the learning outcome being tested
  2. Consider the assessment task set
  3. Brainstorm requirements for, or attributes of,
    successful performance of the assessment task
  4. If necessary specify the range to clarify
    contextual factors and the level
  5. Focus on what is essential and categorise the
    requirements or attributes into clearly worded
    criteria
  6. Check that the criteria are measurable or
    assessable in valid and reliable ways and that
    the criteria are clear and unambiguous
  7. Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 until you are fully
    satisfied
  8. Publish the assessment criteria with the
    assessment task and identify the intended
    learning outcome or outcomes that the task is
    assessing

41
An Example
  • The learner is expected to be able to
  • demonstrate understanding of the purpose and
    operation of the hardware and software components
    present in personal computers, microprocessors
    and embedded processor applications.
    (Level 1 Computer Systems)
  • Assessment Task?
  • Hardware Laboratory Test and evaluate the
    operation of computer hardware components by
    constructing a serial adder on a logic
    patch-board using available TTL devices.
  • Assessment Criteria
  • Connect correctly the following functional
    elements on the patch-board provided EX-OR, Half
    Adder, Full Adder, 4 to1 Multiplexer, D-type
    bistable carry store, 4-bit register, 4-bit
    counter, and links modules to form a 4-bit serial
    adder.
  • Test each module and record results
  • Complete the multi-choice test and score better
    than 70

42
Assessment Criteria Exercise 4 U
  • Final Year Individual Project 30 credits
  • Aim The project provides the student with the
    opportunity to apply knowledge and practical
    skills gained during the degree programme to the
    solution of a problem agreed with the supervisor.
  • Form Groups of 3 or 4
  • Write a Threshold Learning Outcome for this
    module
  • Develop an Assessment Task to address this
    learning outcome
  • Write Assessment Criteria for this task
  • Repeat 1, 2 and 3 for a desirable graded learning
    outcome!

43
Report Back and Discussion
  • Each group to report their
  • learning outcomes
  • assessment tasks
  • assessment criteria
  • Comments
  • Discussion

44
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45
Achievement of Module Threshold Learning Outcomes
  • Peter Noakes
  • Department of Electronic Systems Engineering
  • University of Essex

46
Current Developments at Essex
  • Internally Funded Project
  • The objective is to develop module specifications
    and structures where the threshold and extended
    learning outcomes, and associated assessment
    methods and criteria are clearly defined for
    students.
  • As a result a students satisfaction of threshold
    learning outcomes should be readily determined
  • Initially concentrating of Year 1 Modules offered
    by ESE
  • Working with colleagues in Departments of
    Computer Science and Biological Sciences

47
The Module Description
  • For each module Staff and Students will have a
    clear view of
  • the threshold learning outcomes
  • their method of assessment and
  • the assessment criteria used.
  • the extended (desirable) learning outcomes
  • the assessment activities used for grading
  • the assessment criteria used for grading above
    threshold
  • the expected time commitment for the activities
  • This should ensure that a graduating student
    attains his or her maximum potential

48
Project Proposals
  • In future a module description will identify
    separately the threshold and extended (desirable)
    learning outcomes and syllabus
  • The threshold syllabus defines the topics and
    associated skills, their method of assessment and
    associated assessment criteria, that will be used
    to demonstrate threshold level achievement for
    the module
  • The extended syllabus defines the topics, their
    method of assessment and associated assessment
    criteria, that will be used to demonstrate
    understanding and application of their knowledge
    above the threshold level for the module allowing
    grading above Third class.
  • The threshold aspects of the module will be
    taught conventionally with clear guidance to
    required reading, and supported by regular
    formative on-line MCQ testing
  • The extended aspects of the module will be taught
    by a combination of special topic lectures and
    directed self study with associated supporting
    problem classes

49
Module Specifications
  • Module specifications to be captured by filling
    form to provide entry to a central database
  • Data to be extracted for various audiences by
    running different reports
  • Linked to marks database to provide clear
    abstraction of satisfactory threshold achievement

50
Module Assessment Current Approach
  • Largely based on End of Year Examinations
  • All have an in-term Multi-choice Progress Test
  • Many modules have a Practical Laboratory
    (Hardware / Software / CAD / Database / Networks
    / Microprocessor / Matlab / Web) Assessment in
    various ways including log book, demonstration,
    presentation, report, oral, OMR test
  • Some have Assignments electronic submission,
    paper submission, demonstration, oral
  • Some modules include Projects demonstration,
    presentation, report, oral
  • Module mark generated by forming a weighted
    aggregate of the marks awarded to individual
    elements
  • A 40 overall aggregate does not ensure that all
    learning threshold outcomes have been satisfied!

51
Proposed Module Assessment
  • Each module has 100 marks available
  • Progress Test threshold material 10 marks
  • Examination 2 hour paper 2 parts
  • Part A say 8 to 20 questions on threshold
    material to produce say 20 marks
  • Part B 3 to 5 on extended material answer 2 or
    3 for full marks applying knowledge, problem
    solving producing say 40 marks
  • Laboratory or Assignment Coursework contribute
    say 20 marks on threshold material and say 10
    marks on extended material.

52
Graphical Representation
Module Marks
100
Part B examination
90
80
Degree Graded Assessments
70
60
Practical Activity
50
Part A examination
40
30
Threshold Assessments
Practical Activity
20
10
Progress Test
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