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Higher Education student numbers are rising globally and yet teacher numbers are being reduced - all because of economic constraints and external criticisms. Despite these limitations, which all educators face today, the quality of teaching and depth of learning requires to be maintained. The impressive pace and rising numbers of educators who research and test methodologies which are developed and then shared to enhance teaching and learning is to be applauded. The study outlined in this article was inspired by just such seminal education researchers.
This paper has emerged from a small action research case study that was completed in April 2010. It was undertaken on a constructively aligned syllabus in a specific discipline in a higher education institution and has identified how formative assessment structures that were implemented have helped to reduce assessment work-loads on tutors - yet still enhance student learning.
This paper will demonstrate how an intensive yet rewarding activity that provided swift feedback and ensured rapid assessment grades for students was applied and how this process could help other teachers in Higher Education.
The argument is made that this particular formative feedback and formative assessment model has nurtured deeper learning through improved reflection on ‘knowledge’ learned. By promoting greater student engagement through the application of this process, has helped students as individuals (and in groups) to develop skills that will improve potential employability and confidence, while moving towards greater personal and professional growth.
This particular formative feedback process and method of assessment can be adapted for wider use to suit many different higher education course types as well as become a far more creative and rewarding learning and teaching process for tutors and students alike.
Crean, M., Prunty, C.: Formative Assessment Structures to Enhance Student Learning Despite Resource Limitiations. 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. Valencia, 2011.