Designing an assessment task for scientific report writing using a mastery goal approach to ensure self-evaluation and application of feedback

Jo-Anne Chuck, Lauren Young

Abstract


By identifying the report writing skill deficits of students drawn from a cohort of mixed abilities, an assessment task for scientific report writing was developed. After first submission of a report based on a laboratory exercise, a cohort-specific marking scheme was developed by the academic based on the skill deficiencies of the student group. After the return of ungraded reports together with the marking scheme, self-evaluation and/or peer review was possible. The opportunity to amend the report allowed for direct application of feedback. Using this methodology, improvement of the skills of the entire student population was possible, regardless of the abilities of the student prior to the assessment task. The resubmitted report resulted in elevated marks compared with those that would have been obtained after first submission; rewarding the student for the application of feedback. Positive outcomes arising from this task were that students of varying aptitudes were able to measure their own skill improvement against tangible criteria, and were also able to enjoy a degree of learning success independent of the ranking within the group.

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