Assessing for futures: Can professional learning provide a sustainable assessment platform to support learning beyond graduation
Lawson, R., Taylor, T., Papadopolous, T., Fallshaw, E. and Zanko, M. (2010) Assessing for futures: Can professional learning provide a sustainable assessment platform to support learning beyond graduation. In: Australian Technology Network (ATN) Assessment Conference 2010: Assessment Sustainability, Diversity and Innovation, 18 - 19 November 2010, University Technology of Sydney, Sydney
Recent evidence suggests that assessment in higher education is predominantly focused on certifying learning (Australian Learning and Teaching Council, 2008), and that the assessment methodologies adopted do not necessarily focus on ‘driving’ learning (Ramsden, 1993; Bransford et al., 2000). The notion that assessment should reach beyond graduation to nurture attitudes, skills and knowledge for life (Boud et al., 2010) requires that it be used to do more than just measure learning objectives. Instead it should be designed to be sustainable, to inform judgment, to encourage reflexive learning and to develop students to become practitioners. This paper is based on an Australian Learning and Teaching Council–funded project entitled ‘Engaging industry: embedding professionally relevant learning in the business curriculum’. Through a series of surveys, focus groups and interviews, a framework was developed to categorise professional learning practices within the business curriculum and to provide exemplars of good practice for each category. This framework and the related examples were then used to develop resources to support academics using professional learning in their teaching, including ‘enablers and impediments’ as well as good practice principles and assessment guidelines. In this paper the guidelines will be discussed alongside examples of good practice from universities across Australia that use professional learning practices to support learning beyond graduation.
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