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Improving assessment tasks through addressing our unconscious limits to change

Joughin, Gordon, Dawson, Phillip and Boud, David 2016, Improving assessment tasks through addressing our unconscious limits to change, Assessment & evaluation in higher education, pp. 1-12, doi: 10.1080/02602938.2016.1257689.

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Title Improving assessment tasks through addressing our unconscious limits to change
Author(s) Joughin, Gordon
Dawson, PhillipORCID iD for Dawson, Phillip orcid.org/0000-0002-4513-8287
Boud, DavidORCID iD for Boud, David orcid.org/0000-0002-6883-2722
Journal name Assessment & evaluation in higher education
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, Eng.
Publication date 2016-11-17
ISSN 0260-2938
1469-297X
Keyword(s) assessment design
change
heuristics
blases
decision-making
Summary Despite widespread recognition of the need to improve assessment in higher education, assessment tasks in individual courses are too often dominated by conventional methods. While changing assessment depends on many factors, improvements to assessment ultimately depend on the decisions and actions of individual educators. This paper considers research within the ‘heuristics and biases’ tradition in the field of decision-making and judgement which has identified unconscious factors with the potential to limit capacity for such change. The paper focuses on issues that may compromise the process of improving assessment by supporting a reluctance to change existing tasks, by limiting the time allocated to develop alternative assessment tasks, by underestimating the degree of change needed or by an unwarranted overconfidence in assessment design decisions. The paper proposes countering these unconscious limitations to change by requiring justification for changing, or not changing, assessment tasks, and by informal and formal peer review of assessment task design. Finally, an agenda for research on heuristics and biases in assessment design is suggested in order to establish their presence and help counter their influence.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/02602938.2016.1257689
Field of Research 130103 Higher Education
130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
1303 Specialist Studies In Education
1505 Marketing
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Informa UK
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30090123

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE)
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