Student experiences of assessment: forthcoming conference presentation

A one-day Assessment Conference will take place at the Open University on 19 January 2016. The conference will feature morning presentations, a lunchtime poster session and an afternoon of workshops and is open to all staff. I will be presenting the ‘Key Findings from the 2015 OU Student Experience of Feedback, Assessment and Revision (SEFAR) Survey’ in the morning session and also two posters during the lunchtime session.

The SEFAR Project included a student questionnaire and follow-up telephone interviews were undertaken to learn more about student attitudes and experiences of four key elements of assessment at the Open University: TMAs (Tutor marked continuous assessment), examinations, EMAs (End of module assignments) and revising for examinations. The expectation was that student experiences of different aspects of the assessment process could be compared and contrasted. 281 students responded to the questionnaire and 13 volunteered and participated in 1-hour long interviews.

The survey included questions relating to ten themes and I hope to include data from the final project report (Cross, Whitelock and Mittelmeier, 2015) relating to most, if not all, these themes:

  • Support, Guidance and Use of Resources
  • Contribution to learning
  • Time allocation and time spent
  • Assessment preparation and clarity of instructions
  • Question quality and awarded marks
  • Tutor feedback, peer feedback and collaborative assessment
  • Strategic Learning
  • Student preference for EMAs or Examinations
  • End of module assessment as motivator for learning
  • Student support for alternate forms of TMA feedback

OU Staff can access the final project report on the institutional Scholarship Exchange: Cross, S., Whitelock, D. and Mittelmeier, J. (2015). Student Experience of Feedback, Assessment and Revision (SEFAR) Project: Final Report. August 2015. Open University.

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