UCD Case 1:
Group Poster or Group Presentations
Dr Kathy O’Boyle, School of Biomolecular &
Biomedical Science.
Geraldine O’Neill, UCD T&L
University College Dublin.
The Assessment Choices
PHAR30040, Stage 3 BSc
A: Group Oral
B: Group Poster
Assessment contributed 20% of module grade
Why I decided to use these assessments
1. UCD audit of assessment practice 2007-2008:
•
•
Mapped degree major aims to curriculum
Aligned assessment practice to aims
little formal assessment of communication skills and creativity
verbal (formal)
2. Real world choice:
oral
performance
organisation - timing
visual - creativity
Scientific communication
visual - creativity
poster
writing skills
organisation - pre-plan
verbal (informal)
3. Students have different strengths
How implemented
1.
11 groups, n6
Class of 65, Stage 3 students
Coach re group work
Explain choice
Match for: - programme
- ability
2. Develop equitable, transparent assessment criteria
3. Assess groups
4. Collect student feedback
Developing equity of assessment methods
Gerald ine O’ N eill, UCD
C e ntre for Tea c hi n g an d Lea r ning
Inc lusiv e Ass e ss me n t Project
Assessment criteria
Gerald ine O’ N eill, UCD
C e ntre for Tea c hi n g an d Lea r ning
Inc lusiv e Ass e ss me n t Project
The choice: 10 oral presentations, 1 poster
Outcome: no difference in students’ performance
Student comments
Why?
Oral
Poster
10 groups
25/59 respondents
1 group
4/6 respondents
‘We knew we could do
well with this method’
‘Wanted to try something
different’
Glad you chose
100% yes
this method?
Positive
experiences
‘I feel better prepared
for next year’
‘really benefited from
working in a group’
‘it was nice to have
some choice’
50% yes
‘It was new, different’
‘physical evidence of
work’
Student feedback
I felt ownership of learning experience
Module tried to accommodate my learning style
I appreciated being given choice
I felt empowered by having choice
Having choice reduced stress
Choice allowed me to play to my strengths
 I felt I was given sufficient information to make choice
I found it stressful to have to chose
 Workloads appeared similar
I was satisfied with level of feedback vs other
 I felt I was given adequate support
I was satisfied with examples of my method vs other

My method was not as well explained
 I was confident in my choice
It was a relief to experience some choice
I would like greater variety of choice
My assessment allowed me to show my knowledge
 Staff didn't give enough advice in helping us chose
It helped to talk to other students about the choice
I felt I should have had more control over assessment
1
2
3
4
5
Mean (Likert)
n = 29
strongly
disagree
disagree
undecided
agree
strongly
agree
Student feedback: oral versus poster
poster
oral
Difference of >1 Likert point
I felt I was given sufficient information to make choice
Workloads appeared similar
I felt I was given adequate support
My method was not as well explained
I was confident in my choice
Staff didn't give enough advice in helping us chose
1
poster: n = 4
oral: n = 25
2
3
4
5
Mean (Likert)
strongly
disagree
disagree
undecided
agree
strongly
agree
Staff reaction(s) and suggestions for change
Pros
Cons
• Increased student engagement
• Required considerable initial effort
• Encouraged ownership of learning
• Concerned about equity
• Empowered students
validity of assessment
• Gave students a chance to excel
Lessons:


Avoid unbalanced division
Better communication between staff!!
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Case 1 KOBoyle - University College Dublin