Assessment literacy: Exploring institutional, teacher and student perspectives

Nirma Anandi Samarawickrema, Ester Villvanathan, Osuri Manatunga, Klaudia Budzyn, John McInerney, Swati Mujumdar, Maxine Bonham, Christopher Thompson, Elizabeth Davis

Abstract


BACKGROUND
Assessment literacy is students’ understanding of the purpose and process of assessment, the ability to judge/evaluate their response to assessments, identify strengths/weaknesses and strategies to improve their work. Engaging students with activities that foster assessment literacy enhances learning potential and ensures development/demonstration of attributes necessary for work and lifelong learning.

AIMS
Explore to what extent we provide students opportunities to develop assessment literacy.

DESIGN AND METHODS
We gathered institutional, staff and student data from final-year units in five courses. By developing a tool based on Monash’s Assessment Framework1, we mapped all assessments to identify the extent to which literacies are developed. Through staff interviews we investigated strategies adopted to develop assessment literacy, and surveyed students to explore their perspectives on assessment literacy.

RESULTS
Our tool effectively mapped assessment types, highlighting range, gaps and areas for improvement. Staff interviews revealed that strategies applied were course-specific, with vocational courses employing more career-focused assessments. Overall, final-year students demonstrated attributes associated with assessment literacy, critical for developing evaluative judgement.

CONCLUSIONS
Our systematic approach to mapping assessment literacy could potentially be applied to any course in order to ensure that assessments are fit for purpose.

1Monash Assessment Vision: http://www.intranet.monash/learningandteaching/learningandteachingquality/assessment-vision

Keywords


Assessment literacy, evaluative judgement, learning

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