ATU Re-imagining Assessment & Feedback for Student Success Symposium

Emma McDonald
Research Assistant, ATU Galway-Mayo Teaching and Learning Office

The ATU Re-imagining Assessment and Feedback Project Symposium was hosted on June 2nd, 2022, on site at ATU Galway City. There was fantastic engagement from ATU colleagues with up to 100 participants engaging onsite and online.. The Re-imagining Assessment and Feedback project is a collaboration between Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Teaching and Learning Centre and the Online Learning Centre in ATU Sligo. The project is co-led by Dr Carina Ginty (ATU Galway-Mayo), Dr Niamh Plunkett and Gavin Clinch (ATU Sligo), and Dr Deirdre McClay (ATU Donegal). This project was supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching in Ireland under the Strategic Alignment Teaching and Learning Enhancement (SATLE) fund.

The symposium kicked off with an insightful keynote address from Professor Naomi Winstone. Naomi is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Director of the Surrey Institute of Education at the University of Surrey, UK plus an Honorary Associate Professor in the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at Deakin University, Australia. In her keynote presentation, Prof Winstone explored the potential future landscape of assessment and feedback in higher education, discussed the barriers and enablers to the development of practice.

The second presentation of the day was delivered by three lecturers from the BA in Sociology and Politics programme in ATU Sligo. Dr Susan McDonnell, Dr Maire Hanniffy, and Sinead Barrins discussed the development of assessment and feedback practices for the Sociology and Politics programme that align with real-world learning outcomes as identified by an industry stakeholders focus group.

The third presentation was delivered by Dr Bronagh Heverin, Lecturer on the BA in Law and Criminal Justice programme in ATU Donegal. This presentation discussed the introduction of ABC Learning Design Framework to the project and programme team through the participation in the Re-imagining Assessment and Feedback project. The participating academic staff evaluated their experience of implementing the framework and this was shared by the presenter.

The fourth presentation was delivered by four lecturers from the BSc in Medical Science at ATU Galway-Mayo. Dr Debbie Corcoran discussed the re-imagining of a practical assessment carried out as part of the Year 1 Microbiology assessment and the value of re-imagining assessment for students. Dr Trish O’Connell discussed the application of the Moodle Workshop Activity in Year 1 of the programme and for Year 2 and 3 she showed how authenticity can be built into the student experience. Brigid Hooban discussed the design and implementation of an assessment in a year 2 module that related to the ethical communication of patient results. The innovative nature of this assessment was discussed alongside the observed strengths and weaknesses. Finally, Dr Eleanor Rainsford discussed re-imagining laboratory reports for a Year 4 module on the Medical Science programme.

The final presentation of the day was delivered by the Re-imagining Assessment and Feedback project Research Assistant, Emma McDonald. This presentation outlined the research activities and findings from phase 1 of the project.

Through the project a new suite of Assessment Resources has been developed which was launched at the Symposium and can be accessed on the DigitalEd.ie Assessments Resources page.  The collection of the symposium recordings and slide decks, along with outputs from previous sessions can be accessed on the DigitalEd.ie Assessment Masterclass page.

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