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The Technological University Dublin is one of the largest multi-level higher education providers in Ireland. The Institute’s traditional mission has always been focused on teaching and learning in the field of advanced technical vocational education and training (TVET), and one of its agendas is to foster and encourage changes in teaching practice and methodology in order to enhance the student learning experience.
This paper is a result of the ever changing process which shows the evolution of the assessment process to its current format. It was driven by the fact that we as lecturers realised that the assessment results did not reflect the learners’ abilities, with many bright intelligent learners failing exams, as the assessment at the time didn’t allow for a demonstration of knowledge but instead relied purely on memory recall. The questions we asked ourselves were: By giving learners exam papers and asking them to recall facts and information, are we really giving them a fair assessment;- does it reflect what they have learned, or is it just testing their memory?
A change was needed to needed to allow this fairer reflection of student ability. The students have to be given the opportunity to demonstrate their acquired knowledge. As external providers of a prescribed curriculum, its content was beyond our remit, so instead I had to focus on the assessment process.
Research was carried out, focusing on groups of Apprentices in Cabinet-Making, in the final stages of their apprenticeship. The study was conducted over a number of years and primarily focused on the theory assessments. By acting upon my research findings, I was able to change the layout of the theory paper.
Byrne, J. (2012) A Journey Through Asessment: From Memory Recollection To Knowledge Demonstration. All Ireland Society of Higher Education (AISHE) Conference 2012 ‘Responding to Change: Effective Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’ DCU, Dublin, August 2012.