Improving engagement: the use of ‘Authentic self-and peer-assessment for learning’ to enhance the student learning experience
Kearney, S. P. (2012). Improving engagement: the use of ‘Authentic self-and peer-assessment for learning’ to enhance the student learning experience. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 38, 875-891.
Innovative assessment practices have the potential to shift the way universities function. By focusing on well-designed assessment tasks, where students are expected to work collegially and are actively involved in self- and peer-assessment, the opportunity to engage students in the assessment process is realised. This article contends that students are significantly and detrimentally disengaged from the assessment process as a result of traditional assessments that do not address key issues of learning. Notable issues that arose from observations and questioning of students indicated that vast proportions of students were not proofreading their own work were not collaborating on tasks; had not been involved in the development of assessment tasks; and that students had insufficient skills in relation to their ability to evaluate their own efforts. These facts led the author to conceptualise new models of assessment focusing on authentic learning and the authentic assessment of that learning through self- and peer-assessment. Authentic assessment for sustainable learning (AASL) and Authentic self-and peer-assessment for learning (ASPAL) were trialled with approximately 300 undergraduate education students at the University of Notre Dame Australia. This article explains the conceptual development of the models and provides justification for their implementation.