Otago Polytechnic

Improving consistency and introducing creativity to assessment has provided a valuable learning opportunity.

When students do part of their coursework out in the community, on placement with schools and sports clubs for example, there are clear expectations about the capabilities they will be developing. The placement providers report back on how well each student has demonstrated those capabilities. This is supplemented by observation of each placement by a lecturer, but there remained a risk that the various placement providers would have different standards and therefore not be consistent in their assessment of the students.

Kim Park, a Senior Lecturer on our Bachelor of Applied Science programme, worked with former staff member Simon Middlemas to find a solution. 

  • The first step in the process was to introduce 360 degree feedback - students would assess themselves against the capabilities and would nominate a fellow student to assess them, as well as assessment by the workplace provider and the lecturer. This provided a more well-rounded view of the student's capabilities. 
  • The second step was to graph the results so the students could see which capabilities were their weakest. Each student chose one capability to work on to improve, and decided what three activities they would do to extend their skills in that area.
  • Finally, the students produced a three minute video of themselves, "Me in 3," demonstrating their capability or reflecting on what they had learned.

This initiative is now in its third year and feedback from the students has been positive. They appreciate the personalised approach and the creativity involved in filming. The assessment process has become an effective learning process as well. Students can also use their video to enhance their online CV or to attach to their LinkedIn profile to demonstrate to an employer their willingness to engage in professional development.

Sep 2020