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Assessment approach at programme level: a case study in food science

Rodriguez Garcia, J. ORCID:, Green, A. and Mariner, T. (2024) Assessment approach at programme level: a case study in food science. Practitioner Research in Higher Education. pp. 22-34.

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The objective of this project was to promote and implement a cultural and practical shift to a programme focused assessment strategy. In the programme under study the modular compartmentalisation and the limited coordination between module convenors and the programme director in the design and delivery of assessment resulted in high volume of assessment tasks and an uneven deadline distribution. Transforming the Experience of Students through Assessment (TESTA) methodology was used to develop an evidence-based approach, considering students’ (n= 35) and staff’s voices (n=18). The assessment load and diversity were analysed. Student perspective was gathered through questionnaires and focus group; results showed that students struggled to manage the completion of different tasks at the same time, forcing the adoption of a grade-focused and surface learning approach. The level of knowledge integration from different core subjects and knowledge application to real case scenarios is crucial in the development of graduates in applied science disciplines. During workshops with staff specific changes were proposed to achieve a Programme Learning Assessment Strategy including the development of honours and bigger modules, to achieve a horizontal and vertical integration of knowledge, the reduction of small superficial assessment tasks, the development of formative assessment activities that clearly link to summative ones and the use of programme assessment maps to ensure an even distribution of assessment deadlines. This collective work enhanced the sense of community and ownership in the programme which helped the promotion of changes towards authentic assessment and a more rationalised use of assessment tasks at programme level, improving students and staff experience in Higher Education.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:116458
Publisher:University of Cumbria


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