[:en]Misson Impossible[:]

[:en]An image of a blackboard with the word Feedback written in chalkSALT Seminar Prof Danny McCaroll’s Mission Impossible:

photograph of Prof D. McCarrollThe Misson: Teach practical classes on statistical techniques to a cohort of 240 very mixed-ability First Year students, ensuring that they receive both formative feedback and continual assessment. 

On Wednesday this week Professor Danny McCarroll, College of Science, explained how he approached his “mission impossible” and reflected on some of the advantages and disadvantages of the method he employed.

Here is the outline of Professor McCarroll’s session:

With numbers like this, traditional approaches to assessment are not feasible. Any piece of assessment that takes just ten minutes to mark and provide feedback costs 40 hours of solid marking. It is hardly surprising that, with such large class sizes, we do not tend to score well on providing timely feedback! With help from SALT, I have adopted a new approach to teaching this module that is centred on Blackboard tests. They are a very efficient way of performing continual assessment, because the marking is automatic and the marks go straight into Grademark. However, there is a danger of over-assessment, and of assessing the students on things that they have not been taught of have not had time to learn. To counter this problem, and to make the learning more student centred, I have adopted a ‘learning ladder’ approach where a series of linked ‘quizzes’ are used to guide student learning. The short ‘quizzes’ are not assessed, they are designed to help the students to learn and to provide instant detailed feedback. However, each quiz must be completed and a target score achieved before the student can proceed. At the end of each ‘learning ladder,’ there is an assessed test. Setting this system up, and preparing all of the tests, was a lot of work but it is MUCH better than all those hours of tedious marking. The student response has been largely positive and the marks for the course are excellent but strongly skewed, with a high proportion of First Class marks but a ‘tail’ of poor marks for students who did not fully engage.

You can watch the whole seminar on the link below.


Support and information pertaining to the tests mentioned in the seminar can be found at https://salt.swan.ac.uk/the-blackboard-test-canvas/

[:en]Teaching Enhancement Seminar[:]

[:en]A night time photograph of the School of Management building at the Bay Campus Swansea UniversityIn case you are unaware, SALT and the School of Management have arranged a Teaching Enhancement Seminar.  The seminar entitled Interventions in Summative Examinations is lead by Dr. Geertje van Keulen.

Photograph of Dr Geertje Van Keulen

Dr van Keulen is an Associate Professor in Swansea University Medical School and the Lead-Organiser of Soapbox Science Swansea.

Dr. van Keulen will be coming to the Bay campus on March 15th, to talk about interventions in summative examinations that improve the student and staff experience, namely MCQs and seen exams.

The seminar will cover some of the advantages and disadvantages of MCQs as well as some more recent work undertaken by Geertje and colleagues in Medicine looking at seen examination questions. Their work on MCQs was published in the PLOS One ‘Negatively-Marked MCQ Assessments That Reward Partial Knowledge Do Not Introduce Gender Bias Yet Increase Student Performance and Satisfaction and Reduce Anxiety’ http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0055956

If you are looking at diversifying your assessments, enhancing student performance or developing their pedagogic research then this is a seminar for you. For more information and to book a place click on the Eventbright button below.

Eventbrite - Teaching Enhancement Seminar - Interventions in Summative Examinations

The session on 15th March will commence at 14:00 where teas and coffee will be served on arrival. We look forward to seeing you there![:]