Tuesday, November 4, 2008

assessments signal our priorities

From Australia (where the first degree in law is an undergraduate degree), comes an article to help us re-assess what we're assessing, how we're assessing, and what signals we're sending our students via the process.  Molly O'brien, of the Australian National University, and John Littrich, of the University of Wollongong, instruct us in Using Assessment Practice to Evaluate the Legal Skills Curriculum,
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2008.  As they explain in their abstract:

"A comprehensive audit of the skills curriculum offered to students in a Bachelor of Laws program yielded important insights about the collective impact of assessment tasks on the hidden and operational skills curriculum. This qualitative case study supports the views (1) that assessment tasks provide significant skills practice and performance opportunities for students; (2) that assessment provides students with important cues about what type of learning is valued; and (3) that review of assessment practices across the curriculum can provide important information for curricular reform."



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