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					8 | ASKe newsletter | December 2010
                                                                                                                                        ASKe newsletter | December 2010

                                                                                           ASKe has made a tangible
                                                                                           impact on my institution and,
      Interactions within a learning community, both                                       I suspect, an impact across the
      formal and informal, promote student learning                                        sector. I do not see how the
      (Astin, 1993; O’Donovan et al, 2008)                                                 practice-based work can be as
                                                                                effective as it has been without the
       Assessment and pedagogic literacy among                                  research activities in place as well. ASKe’s
                                                                                research work gives the practice-based
       staff and students are prerequisites for increased                       work credibility.
       effectiveness of assessment and feedback
       (Price et al, 2010)                                                      Educational Developer (Learning Technologies),

                                                                                                                                         Our work
       Understanding and exploiting the relational and
       dialogic nature of feedback leads to effective
                                                                                OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University

                                                                                ASKe has contributed to the development
                                                                                of my practice as a teacher. I am mindful                goes on!
                                                                                                                                                                      Weston Manor Group,
                                                                                                                                                                      world class experts
                                                                                                                                                                      on assessment, produce
                                                                                of the influence ‘assessment’ has on me
       student engagement and learning                                          as a tutor and strive to make it as engaging
       (Price et al, 2010)                                                      and meaningful experience for students
                                                                                which enhances their nursing practice.
       Assessment and feedback processes that support
       student learning need to be coherent and integrated                      Placement Lead and Senior Lecturer in Learning
                                                                                Disability Nursing, Oxford Brookes University
       into the learning process (Price et al, in press)
       There are no simple, quick and easy solutions to
                                                                                  Thursday 9 June 2011
       most assessment and feedback problems                                      ASKe Plagiarism Event
       (Price et al, in press; O’Donovan et al, 2008)                             See website for details in the New Year.

       There are very few economies of scale available in                         Thursday 14 December 2010
       assessment and feedback (Gibbs, 2006)                                      Seminar:
                                                                                  The cultivated community
       Students need to actively use assessment                                   approach taken to develop
       standards in order to fully understand them                                academic standards for
                                                                                  business disciplines
       (Rust et al, 2003)                                                         by Mark Freeman,
                                                                                  Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching),
       To be effective, assessment must be recognised                             University of Sydney
       as a joint responsibility between staff and students                       12:00-13:00 PG201,                                      123 leaflets
                                                                                  Postgraduate Centre
       (Rust et al, 2005)                                                         Wheatley Campus
                                                                                                                                          produced, over
       The ASKe Key Messages with full references can be seen on our website.     Email to register: nranjit@brookes.ac.uk                24,000 distributed

                                                                                Oxford Brookes University
                                                                                Business School
                                                                                Wheatley Campus
                                                                                Oxford OX33 1HX
                                                                                Tel: +44 (0) 1865 485673
                                                                                Fax: +44 (0) 1865 485830
                                                                                Email: aske@brookes.ac.uk

                                                                                                                                        Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange
2 | ASKe newsletter | December 2010                                                                                                                                                                                    ASKe newsletter | December 2010 | 3


                                 I think it is fair to say we have come a long way in five
                                 years and hopefully we have brought some of you
                                 along with us too. In the spirit of the innovative CETL
initiative, we used the opportunity of five years of HEFCE funding not just to embed
our original ideas in practice but to further explore these ideas, question assumptions
and use different lenses to get to the heart of assessment and feedback problems.
That isn’t to say we are claiming to have all the anwers but our thinking has certainly
moved on as we have grappled with the complexity of assessment theory and pratice.
                                      IN THIS FINAL NEWSLETTER                 IN WRITING BIDS there is always a             ourselves generating interest across     WE OFFERED STAFF DEVELOPMENT

                                      we will track the key developments       temptation to promise a lot to impress        the sector almost from the start.        workshops and realised that many
                                      in our thinking through a look back at   the funder but in the CETL bid process        We responded to where demand             practitioners, rather than just being hungry
                                      what we did and why and, as a result,    there was an emphasis not only on             seemed to exist, providing workshops     for hints and tips, respond with interest
                                      what we are doing next.                  products but also on risk and innovation      and developing our 123 leaflets;          and enthusiasm if given the background          students across four
                                                                               and to us that meant ideas. Promising         the first one proposed a change           theory to use and apply in their own
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oxford Brookes schools
                                                                               to deliver ideas, their development,          to classroom practice to support         disciplines and contexts. However, unless
                                      THE FIRST FIVE YEARS of ASKe have,                                                                                                                                              offered opportunity to
                                                                               testing and promulgation meant that           students understanding of assessment     attendance was championed by senior
                                      in one sense, flown past but in another                                                                                                                                          participate in
                                                                               we were offering what we thrive on and        standards. This was change happening     management, the workshops tended
                                      we have travelled such a distance                                                                                                                                               PAL: Peer Assisted
                                                                               our experience in ASKe has always             at a module level as we had planned      to attract those already looking for ideas
                                      and achieved so much that life before
                                                                               been too many ideas rather than too           but was it enough? We were successful    to improve their practice. So again were        Learning
                                      ASKe is becoming a distant memory.
                                                                               few. Our aim was, through creative            in persuading individual practitioners   we making a lasting difference?
Professor Margaret Price              The saying goes ‘time really flies when
                                                                               thinking, robust research and evaluation,     but discovered that this was not a
                                      you are enjoying yourself’ and it is
                                                                               to produce a range of initiatives for         sustainable model; every change in
                                      undeniable that these five years have                                                                                            MEANWHILE WE WERE PURSUING                     ALL THESE QUESTIONS meant that
           e                          been really enjoyable. It would be
                                      extremely surprising if an opportunity
                                                                               embedding in courses, both in Brookes
                                                                               and elsewhere, to improve the student
                                                                                                                             module/course leadership brought a
                                                                                                                             new need for persuasion and support.
                                                                                                                                                                      our work in increasing student
                                                                                                                                                                      engagement in the community of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     we needed to take new perspectives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     and expand our horizons. By this time
 OBJECTIVES                           to become engrossed in a subject,
                                                                               learning experience. Our previous work
                                                                               had shown that assessment standards
                                                                                                                             What would happen after five years?
                                                                                                                                                                      assessment practice. We often debated          we had absorbed and were developing

 2005-10                              to work with colleagues throughout
                                      the sector, to have an opportunity
                                                                               were not as transparent as the sector
                                                                                                                              June 2009:
                                                                                                                                                                      whether such a community exists.
                                                                                                                                                                      The learning community was in operation
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the work of our previous project on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     engaging students with assessment
                                                                               liked to assume, however a belief in the
                                      to influence national agendas and                                                                                                but did it have an assessment community        feedback which had reinforced
        Embed current evidence-                                                complete effectiveness of explicit criteria    Osney Orange Group,
                                      international discussions, and, most                                                                                            within it or was it the same thing? It was     our views about the importance of
        based excellent practice                                               and level descriptors had taken hold.          23 specialists, produce
 2      Develop pioneering
                                      importantly, to make a significant
                                      contribution to improving the student
                                                                               This needed to be addressed but how?
                                                                                                                              Feedback: An Agenda
                                                                                                                                                                      unclear how it was open to student
                                                                                                                                                                      participation or how often and seriously
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     learning relationships, dialogue and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     learning across a programme rather
        evidence-based practice                                                Through changing practice in the
                                      learning experience was not an                                                          for Change                              it discussed assessment standards.             than in a module. Change needed
        Cultivate an inclusive                                                 classroom, persuading teachers to
                                      enjoyable experience.                                                                                                           Increasing student involvement in the          to be embedded in programmes to
                                                                               make minor changes to their practice
        community of                                                                                                                                                  community through peer assisted                make it sustainable and meaningful
                                                                               and seeking to involve students in the
        assessment practice                                                                                                                                           learning schemes, as module leader             for students. Our opportunity came
                                       100+                                                                                   26
                                                                               learning community to accelerate their
        Inform, inspire and                                                                                                                                           assistants and as technical advisers in        when Brookes decided to restructure
                                                                               understanding of assessment.
        support the wider                                                                                                                                             the new social learning centre brought         all its programmes and accepted our
        community of HE staff                                                                                                                                         students closer to ‘the other side’ of         recommendations. Those programmes
        and students                                                           WITH GRASSROOTS CHANGE to                                                              the assessment discourse. How could            have now recruited and the first

 5      Reward and recognise           Module Assistants                       practice we had aimed to start locally
                                                                               with a plan to move outwards to
                                                                                                                                                                      we bring this to a larger number
                                                                                                                                                                      of students?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     cohort of students enrolled. Needless to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     say we have a project to monitor success.
        excellence in assessment
                                                                               other institutions later but found
4 | ASKe newsletter | December 2010                                                                                                                                                              ASKe newsletter | December 2010 | 5

                                                                                                                                               Dear ASKe, What an outstanding resource-
                                                                                                                                               base you have produced. Thank you.
                                                                                                                                               Glynis Cousin, Director, Institute for Learning
                                                                                                                                               Enhancement, University of Wolverhampton

IN THE PROCESS of addressing these                                                        but students need their acquisition of
                                              IUSS                                                                                      September 2009                 over
questions we realised that working
with practitioners alone is not enough
to deal with complex issues and
bring about sustainable change. We
                                              oral evidence given to the
                                              Innovation, Universities,
                                              Science and Skills Select
                                                                                          assessment literacy supported and
                                                                                          accelerated if they are quickly to be
                                                                                          effective self-directed learners.
                                                                                          ASKe has built up considerable
                                                                                                                                        Compact                        70                        1800
                                                                                                                                                                                                 ASKe Business School
synthesized our ideas with those of           Committee inquiry into                      knowledge and know-how about                                                                           Undergraduate Student
other researchers and writers and             ‘Students and Universities.’                sharing standards within the learning         implemented                    papers published          Diaries distributed
raised our sights to a higher level. The                                                  community which is central to the
‘Assessment Standards Manifesto’ and        IN BROOKES, senior management                 development of assessment literacy.
‘Feedback: An Agenda for Change’            championed the development and                Our future work will build on this as well
were addressed to the whole sector
(institutions, funding bodies, quality
agencies, professional bodies) calling
for change in practices. There is a
hunger in the sector for change, not
                                            implementation of the Brookes
                                            Assessment Compact, drafted by
                                            ASKe. This document makes no
                                            pretence that issues around assessment
                                            are simple but it does make clear that
                                                                                          as enhancing student involvement. As a
                                                                                          starter for this we are in the process of
                                                                                          writing ‘ASKe – the Book’ on developing
                                                                                          assessment literacy in students.
                                                                                                                                                                                                 workshops given
least to address the dissatisfaction        successful assessment experience               Informing wider sector:
around assessment and feedback              involves a partnership between staff
expressed by both staff and students.       and students and contribution from
                                            both parties. The implementation of the
                                                                                           news articles featured in THES,
The ideas in the documents fed                                                                                                                                                                            At Brookes, your
                                                                                           The Guardian and The Australian
into national debates, including the        Compact is providing a great insight                                                                                                                          work has done a
Parliamentary Select Committee (IUSS)       into the levels of staff and students’                                                                                                                        tremendous amount
looking at universities and students, and   understanding of assessment.                  SO, WHILST SIGNIFICANTLY SMALLER                                                                                to raise the profile,
several institutions around the world                                                     in scale, ASKe's work continues in            Thousands of students in                                          debate and knowledge
began to use the Manifesto and Agenda.      SO WHILST WE HAVE TO CONFESS                  conjunction with the newly formed             Oxford Brookes University receive                                 around assessment
                                            we did deviate from our original plans,       Oxford Brookes Business School
                                                                                          Pedagogy Research Centre which will
                                                                                                                                        pre-assessment intervention                              and feedback, and programme
                                            I think we exceeded them! We have                                                                                                                    teams are now in the position of
                                            come to the end of HEFCE funding at           continue to build an evidence base to                                                                  being able to bring pressure to

                                            a point where we have concluded that          inform initiatives to enhance the student

                                                                                                                                                                                                 bear on colleagues to change
                                            assessment literacy lies at the heart         learning experience. We will not be
                                                                                                                                                                                                 their ways.
                                            of better, more effective assessment          producing any more newsletters but our
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Associate Professor
                                            processes and greater clarity and             website will be maintained and we will
                                                                                                                                        annual plagiarism              students have taken the   Valerie Clifford
                                            confidence in assessment standards.            continue our innovative range of resources                                                             Affiliate Oxford Brookes University, Visiting
                                            Staff can begin to develop such literacy      including our popular 123 leaflets. We hope
                                                                                                                                        events, each attracting        ASKe-devised Planning a   Fellow CAPRI (Centre for AcademicPractice
                                            in their training for teaching and their      to see you at our events and look forward     80 external delegates          Successful Event module
                                                                                                                                                                                                 and Research in Internationalisation), Leeds
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Metropolitan University
                                            induction into the disciplinary communities   to future collaboration with you.
                                                                                          Professor Margaret Price
6 | ASKe newsletter | December 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ASKe newsletter | December 2010 | 7

ASKe:                                                                                                                                                                 ASKe’s ideas have definitely contributed
                                                                                                                                                                      to the development of programme
                                                                                                                                                                      learning and teaching strategies.
                                                                                                                                                                 Our whole team’s courses have all been
                                                                                                                                                                 designed/redesigned on the basis of ASKe’s
                                                                                                                                                                 work on learning outcomes and assessment.

                                                                                                                    Working as a researcher for ASKe has         Teresa Finlay                                               ASKe has been a hugely successful CETL
                                                                                                                    been a fantastic experience. The projects    Senior Lecturer in Health Care Practice,                    that has had an impact on assessment
                                                                                                                    have been interesting and diverse and        School of Health & Social Care,                             practice at a range of levels. For example:
                                                                                                             provided many opportunities for development         Oxford Brookes University
       My experience with ASKe is twofold. First,                                                                                                                                                                         ASKe’s research has enriched the debate about
                                                                                                             of my research and writing skills. I have enjoyed
       in my teaching practice I have found                                                                                                                                                                            assessment and standards in HE. This research
                                                                                                             interviewing members of staff, running numerous
       ASKe’s work on ways of helping staff and                                                                                                                                                                        and scholarship has made a significant contribution
                                                                                                             student focus groups, observing classes,
students develop a common understanding                                                                                                                                I have become more assessment-literate          to my own development as an assessment
                                                                                                             designing questionnaires, analysing data, writing
of academic standards incredibly insightful.                                                                                                                           than I was pre-ASKe. ASKe has made              researcher.
                                                                                                             reports and journal articles and presenting at
For example, the ASKe leaflets for staff and                                                                                                                            a significant difference to our practice.           The Weston Manor Symposium and the Osney                   The ASKe CETL has been successful in
                                                             Being a member of the ASKe community            conferences. The ASKe team has created a
students start with the common difficulties staff                                                                                                                                                                       Grange Symposium created rich opportunities to                 raising the profile of assessment and
and students experience and then offer the 1, 2, 3
                                                             became more than a job to me. Within the        nurturing work environment where a shared           Fiona Gilbert
                                                             community I was a Casual Technical              commitment to improving the student experience                                                            distil and disseminate evidence-based best practice            standards in higher education not only in
steps to overcome these issues in an easy to use                                                                                                                 Undergraduate In-sessional Manager,
                                                       Adviser based in the Simon Williams                   is the driving force behind everything we do.                                                             in the areas of assessment and feedback.                the UK but internationally. I personally have been
and highly effective way. Second, I have had the                                                                                                                 International Centre, Oxford Brookes
                                                       Undergraduate Centre, aiding students with                                                                University                                               I have found ASKe’s resources really useful for      heartened to participate in various ASKe events, for
pleasure of attending conference presentations,
                                                       computer technical and general enquiries.
                                                                                                             Birgit den Outer                                                                                          my teaching on our university’s Post Graduate           two key reasons. First, the various people involved
lectures and seminars by Professor Margaret                                                                  ASKe Research Assistant                                                                                                                                           in the core of ASKe have focused on problems
                                                       Working as part of this team really provided me                                                                                                                 Certificate of Academic Practice. Participants have
Price and found her insights into best practices for                                                                                                                                                                                                                           that are of high importance to students, especially
                                                       with a great opportunity of meeting new students                                                                                                                found the 123 leaflets really accessible and useful.
assessment to be very helpful. She has challenged                                                                                                                                                                                                                              their focus on making assessment work effectively
                                                       on a daily basis and essentially becoming a part                                                                                                                    The Weston Manor Manifesto has been
my ideas around assessment and expanded my                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     for improving student learning. Second, they have
                                                       of their positive student experience. Not only                                                                                                                  discussed across our university at course team level
understanding which has been extremely useful                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  done this in a way which has demonstrated the
                                                       having this great opportunity of working alongside                                                                                                              right up to Academic Board. This document has
in both my research and my teaching practices in                                                                                                                                                                                                                               right mix of academic scholarship in assessment
                                                       my peers, we all shared the same passion of                                                                                                                     offered a useful reference point for our assessment
relationship to assessment. Working with Margaret                                                                                                                                                                                                                              with practical approaches that work with
                                                       learning to use the new technology that was                                                                                                                     enhancement.
on a research project on assessment standards                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  university teachers. I have not only been
                                                       introduced into the Business School and pass
has been an enjoyable and productive experience.                                                                                                                                                                           When the university held its assessment focused     delighted to be associated with their directions
                                                       on this knowledge to other students helping
She truly is an expert in her field and is able and                                                                                                                                                                     Learning and Teaching conference Professor Chris        but also counted it a privilege to engage with
                                                       them to leverage their potential of creating their
willing to share her expertise with others.                                                                                                                                                                            Rust was the key note speaker. Long after his           them as academic colleagues. Although ASKe
                                                       presentations to the highest level possible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       lecture his input has been referred to in a number of   has been based in the Business School, they
Dr Rosina Mladenovic                                   Sara Kennou                                                                                                                                                     contexts: for example, his ideas have inspired our      have positively encouraged engagement with
BCom MCom( Hons) MHEd PhD UNSW FCPA,                   Oxford Brookes School of Technology                                                                                                                             art and design colleagues to redesign assessment        their work from across a range of disciplines.
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Economics and              Undergraduate                                                                                                                                                   approaches in year one.                                 The legacy of their work will be long-lasting.
Business, The University of Sydney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Professor Susan Orr                                     Professor D Royce Sadler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Deputy Dean Faculty of Arts, National Teaching          Griffith University, Australia
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Fellow, York St John University

                                   I am grateful for the opportunities I have
                                   had to take part in some of the the events
                                   that ASKe has organised. ASKe has                                                                                                   I was fortunate enough to spend my                                                  Speak to busy academics about developing
                            managed to get together researchers from                                                                                                   placement year at ASKe, in which I gained                                           their assessment practice and often they will
                            around the world. It has given me the chance                                                                                               a lot of invaluable experiences and                                                 cite a need for hints and tips or short case
                            to meet people in very friendly, but academically                                                                                    beneficial skills that may have otherwise been                                      studies. The ASKe CETL have responded to this
                            challenging discussions. I am impressed by how                                                                                       unattainable. Soon after I joined the friendly ASKe                                request (see, for example, the range of 123 leaflets),
                            ASKe has been able to take a leading role as                                                                                         team, I was encouraged to take on different                                        but they have painstakingly ensured that the advice
                            change agent in higher education, internationally                                                                                    responsibilities and involvement in a variety of                                   (hints and tips etc) is overlaid on numerous research
                            as well as nationally. It has also been a pleasure           ASKe has always been an integral part of                                projects that had direct contributions in creating                                 informed principles.
                            to visit ASKe and work with ASKe staff. I hope               my student life and it has certainly made                               better student experiences in universities, both                                   To my mind the ASKe CETL have set out a
                            you will find ways of keeping up your good work               my experience richer. Active participation                              nationally and internationally.                                                    significant marker in the way to engage and support
                            in the future.                                        in its numerous projects such as PAL, Module                                   Working in ASKe has enriched my understanding                                      staff, leading to developments in assessment
                                                                                  Assisting, various workshops and focus groups                                  on how to utilise quality assessment and                                           practice, without shying away for the need for
                            Professor Anton Havnes
                                                                                  has significantly enhanced my skills, increased                                feedback as a student, and I transferred that                                      evidenced informed practice.
                            Oslo University College, Norway                       self-awareness and helped me develop                                           knowledge into my academic study to gain                                           As a member of the ASKe steering group and an
                                                                                  personally. As a PAL Leader, I have built up the                               further successes. My year in ASKe was a                                           academic with a belief that good assessment is
                                                                                  confidence to lead and motivate others. I met a                                priceless opportunity; it built up my confidence                                    the right of all our students, ASKe’s approach has
                                                                                  number of wonderful people who became close                                    and provided clearer direction to pursue my                                        not only stimulated my own thinking and ways of
                                                                                  friends. I believe that these kind of projects make                            future educational and career plans.                                               working, but doubtless those of others too across
                                                                                  studying at Oxford Brookes University Business
                                                                                                                                                                 Queenie Leung                                                                      the sector.
                                                                                  School a unique experience.
                                                                                                                                                                 Oxford Brookes Business School                                                     Mark B Russell PhD
                                                                                  Assel Maidanova                                                                Undergraduate                                                                      Deputy Director of the Blended
                                                                                  Oxford Brookes Business School                                                                                                                                    Learning Unit, University of Hertfordshire