In Science and Health practical sessions, the development of both technical and soft skills is essential in terms of both student learning and employability. The Institute of Technology Sector (IoT) in particular places a major value on producing graduates who are ‘workplace ready’ with an emphasis on developing practical skills. It is widely recognised that assessment can influence student learning, effort and engagement. However, there is considerable scope for improvement in practical assessment practices at undergraduate level where concerns such as over-assessment, authenticity and graduate skill development are widely acknowledged (e.g. Bree et al., 2014; Hunt et al., 2012).
The Technology Enhanced Assessment Methods (TEAM) project led by DkIT and partnering with IT Sligo, AIT and IT Carlow is exploring the potential offered by digital technologies to address these concerns. It's primary aim has been to develop a framework for applying the principles of good assessment and feedback to practical assessment and facilitate dialogue among stakeholders about what it is we want student to learn in practical classes and how our assessment can facilitate this. A peer network of discipline specific academics and students in the Science and Health field has been established. The project has identified approaches to assessment, centred on digital technologies, which can enhance learning in the practical environment. The project has piloted and evaluated these across the four partner colleges with the data currently being analysed. The project was informed by a comprehensive literature review (due to published in March 2018) and a stakeholder needs analysis which included engaging with students, academic staff and employers.
TEAM Project Approach
Identify assessment approaches suitable for the practical environment in science & Health Disciplines.
Baseline Review of practices across all partner institutions
Piloting & Evaluation of identified assessment practices across all partner institutions
Dissemination & Resource Sharing