4 March 2021
by Jan McArthur

For assessment to count as authentic it must mean something to students

Stop tinkering around the edges of assessment and be prepared to think radically about engaging with the whole student.

Covid-19 has led many academics to rethink their assessment practices. Well-worn paths of assessment, such as large traditional exams, have had to be replaced, or some proxy method used to stand in for them.

Many people now naturally ask, “what is going to change about university assessment because of Covid-19?” I suggest a far more important and revealing question would be “what is not going to change?” The assessment challenges induced by Covid-19 opened many possibilities to fundamentally rethink why and how we assess, but I see little evidence of this actually happening.

Tinkering with orthodoxy
Instead of a revolution in assessment thinking, we have witnessed an adjustment where necessary changes have been made, but fundamental principles not rethought. We have been tinkering around the edges of assessment orthodoxy. The belief that exams provide a rigorous “gold standard” of assessment remains deeply ingrained in higher education, despite the parallel development of an understanding of assessment for learning.

You can read the full blog post at Wonkhe.