Priority 3: Constructively align effective assessment practices with learning outcomes
The objective of this priority is to ensure that assessment is aligned in an effective and visible way with module and programme learning outcomes and with graduate values and attributes. In this way assessment and feedback will be used to empower students to become self-regulated lifelong and life-wide learners. During the cycle of this plan a number of actions are proposed that will encourage appropriate formative and summative assessment practices that are balanced across the semesters.
Undertake a review of existing assessment practice. [Completed]
An initial review of assessment practices at UCC was presented to Academic Board in September 2018
Effective assessment and feedback practices will be supported by enabling policies.
The Academic Strategy will deliver UCC’s first university-level Assessment Strategy. The ambitions of the Assessment Strategy are defined under four main components: Offering distinction; Changing how we assess learning; Changing how we quantify learning; and Ensuring constant evolution. It will be delivered using three main approaches: Student assessment and feedback policies; Enabling environment for new assessment policies; Alignment of Learning Outcomes with assessment.
The high level Assessment Strategy was drafted, following consultation that included a joint meeting of the Academic Development and Standards Committee and the Academic Council Learning and Teaching committee in January 2020. It was further referred to Colleges for consultation through local committee structures. Feedback has been received from all Colleges, Adult Continuing Education and the UCC Library; this has been collated and will be presented to the Academic Leadership Forum during the forthcoming academic year.
Groupwork guidelines will be implemented and will form a part of the overall assessment policy.
A Groupwork policy (Policy on Designing, Delivering & Assessing Group Work) has been drafted by Academic Council Learning & Teaching Committee, and approved by Academic Council as “advisory” (not binding) for 2019/20 pending the development of the Assessment Strategy, into which review of the Groupwork policy will be integrated. The advisory policy is available at: www.ucc.ie/en/cirtl/resourcesforstaff/groupwork/.
Marks and Standards will be reviewed and simplified to achieve consistency in how regulations are observed.
Analysis of the College of Arts Celtic Studies and Social Sciences (CACSSS) undergraduate Marks & Standards rationalisation pilot has been completed to inform interim CACSSS M&S. The implementation of fully revised postgraduate CACSSS M&S has been necessarily rescheduled to the 21/22 academic year. Full implementation of university-wide rationalised M&S following the roll-out of the upgraded Student Record System and implementation of the Academic Strategy is expected by the end of 2022.
Exam timetabling will be enhanced and the necessity for autumn examinations will be reviewed.
Exam timetabling will be optimised to meet the needs of students and staff and may lead to the elimination of autumn examinations. Benchmarking of Autumn examinations against best practice is underway. A paper will be brought forward for consideration in later in the year. Exploration of examination scheduling systems, complementary to current and future technological capabilities, is ongoing. Implementation will align with the proposed timeline for upgrade of the Student Record System.
Lead sponsor: Vice-President for Teaching & Learning, Paul McSweeney
Administrative Lead: Dr. Siobhan Cusack, Examinations & Records Officer
Team Members: The Lead Sponsor has convened a cross-university working group of Academic and Professional Services Staff.