Friday 18 November 2016

Bloomsbury Enhancing Assessment & Feedback - closure event

"Viva Piñata" by Peasap licenced under CC BY 2.0
On Wednesday 16th November, the BLE arranged a closure event to celebrate the achievements of the Bloomsbury Enhancing Assessment and Feedback project.  

Over 40 people from across the consortium and beyond signed up to hear about the original aims and purpose of what we set out to do. The event was hosted and introduced by Sarah Sherman, the project manager.

Following on from the introductory session, Leo Havemann from Birkbeck one of the members of the Project Advisory Board, provided some of the theoretical basis for the project and shared work on fitting practice from Bloomsbury into the MMU/Jisc Lifecycle for Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA). Leo also talked about how we worked closely with a large group of administrators from across the Colleges, to gauge their perceptions of the EMA workflow from their perspective. You can read more about this work here

The project commissioned consultants Nancy Weitz and Kathy Seddon to investigate and report on the way in which the BLE's Distance Learning and MOOC programmes manage assessment. Both Nancy and Kathy travelled from Dorset and Wales respectively to speak about the research they had conducted, which is available here

Three of the project's case study authors, who are academics from BLE partner institutions, spoke about the innovative approaches to assessment that they have incorporated into their teaching. Zhaoxia Pang's spoke of her pride for her students who excel in Chinese language learning and who benefit from accessing MP3 recordings she provides with personalised feedback. Steve Hirons brought along samples of rocks for us all to identify (with varying rates of success!), which highlighted for us how hard it was for his distance and blended students to have an equivalent learning experience to their on-campus peers. This was until Steve started using video as a means of assessment. Finally, Simon Rofe presented how he is able to offer dialogic means of peer interaction with his distance students by using peer feedback techniques using forums. You can read these and many more case studies under the Case Studies section of the project website.

"Impact" by Walter Wilhelm licenced under CC BY 2.0
To conclude the afternoon, Sarah Sherman invited attendees to consider how the BLE can make sure the great examples of work collected in the project can be usefully shared in order to ultimately impact practice. There is frustratingly no silver bullet for this; impact is one of the hardest things to measure, but it is hoped that sustained use of the BLE-Assessment mailing list and the support and involvement of the BLE Steering Group will be key to its success.

To watch a recording of the event, please visit this page from the project website.

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