Remaining relevant: assessment practices in undergraduate education
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This paper identifies and analyses three broad, connected issues that are impacting on assessment practices in higher education today. The first issue relates to our desire to introduce alternative, more 'authentic' forms of assessment task. These tasks appear to have become particularly desirable as a consequence of the second issue described in this paper, the increased focus in higher education on assessing graduate competencies as well as knowledge. By their very nature, these constructs invite a criterion-based rather than norm-referenced approach to assessment, which leads to the third issue raised in this paper: the need for criteria that adequately and cogently describe those competencies and the requisite standard of attainment. The paper concludes by suggesting areas in which future research may assist us to create a more internally consistent set of processes that will be relevant for students and reflect more accurately our theoretical positions.
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