Akinlolu Akande, Nuala Harding, Edel Healy, Moira Maguire, Dina Brazil & Ronan Bree representing the TEAM project at the National Forum review series in Dublin (June 2016)
The annual review of the Teaching & Learning Enhancement Fund 2015 projects took place on June 8th and 9th 2016.The review was facilitated by the international review panel.
In Science & Health programmes, acquiring practical skills in addition to theory, is crucial to to ensuring student learning and employability. The IOT sector in particular places a major value on producing graduates who are ‘workplace ready’ with an emphasis on developing practical skills (which accounts for up to 50% of summative assessment). It is widely recognised that assessment is an important influence on student learning, effecting engagement and motivation, effort and performance. There is considerable scope for improvement in practical assessment practices at undergraduate level where concerns such as over assessment, authenticity and graduate skills are widely acknowledged. This proposal aims 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.
Led by the Heads of School in each institution a peer support network shall be established . Based on a stakeholder analysis (learners and industry) and a review of the relevant literature, the partners shall pilot and evaluate a selection of the assessment methods across the network with a focus on the use of digital technologies. A website to showcase resources across the partner institutions shall be created itemising practical assessment methods and case studies. Sustainability of the initiative shall be ensured by maintaining the discipline specific peer support group to foster ongoing best practice and disseminate practices. An end of project workshop shall be organised by the team to showcase the learning from the project and expand the peer support network to other Institutions. It is hoped that the the outcomes of the project shall improve learner retention in the science and health disciplines through enhanced learner performance and awareness of the relevance of practical activities to theoretical concepts