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Towards Fairer University Assessment : Recognizing the Concerns of Students - Nerilee R.A. Flint

Towards Fairer University Assessment

Recognizing the Concerns of Students

Paperback

Published: 7th December 2010
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After all the hours of studying, reading and preparation, the nights spent revising and the writing and re-writing of assignments, 'success' for university students can often be represented with a single grade or digit, summing up a wide range of activities. The authors of this timely book ask how fair that assessment is.

This book is about a long-ignored determinant of student satisfaction, concerning the perception of how fairly students are judged, marked, ranked and rewarded for demonstrating their capabilities at university. In the high stakes competitive field of higher education, students are increasingly positioned as customers whose views on their university experience are considered vitally important. Yet paradoxically, little research has been undertaken to find out more about how students decide whether they have been treated fairly and what they do about it. This book fills a major gap in our understanding of these issues, responding to four key questions:

  • Why is the assessment of students' capabilities the core business of universities?
  • What are the main sources of student frustration with assessment arrangements?
  • What do students do when they think they have been treated unfairly?
  • What can be done to promote fair assessment at university?

In doing so, this book goes beyond the superficial consideration of university assessment as a 'necessary requirement' by unravelling the underlying issues that really count - what is considered fair assessment and what is not.

Towards Fairer University Assessment will be of interest to higher education academics, administrators and managers, researchers in the areas of education policy and politics, as well as advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students.

List of figuresp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xv
The importance of fair assessmentp. 1
Introductionp. 1
Constructions of fairnessp. 3
The policy context: The rise of the neo-liberal universityp. 6
The student perspectivep. 8
Structure of the bookp. 9
Who this book is forp. 11
Conclusionp. 12
Researching students' perceptions of fair assessment: A qualitative approachp. 13
Ethics and consentp. 14
Recruitment of participantsp. 14
Profile of studentsp. 15
Interviewsp. 16
The use of vignettesp. 17
Pinal rounds of interviewsp. 19
Transcriptionp. 19
Reflective journalp. 20
The use of literature in this researchp. 20
Category developmentp. 21
Initial themesp. 21
Determining the core categoryp. 22
Development of a basic social processp. 22
Measures to ensure the integrity of the theoryp. 23
Does the theory fit?p. 23
Does the theory work?p. 24
Is the theory relevant?p. 25
Is the theory modifiable?p. 25
Conclusionp. 26
Sources of frustration with assessmentp. 27
The problem of frustration with assessmentp. 28
Sources of frustrationp. 29
Demonstrating capabilityp. 37
Opportunity to demonstrate capabilityp. 37
Whether capability has been recognizedp. 38
Conclusionp. 38
ciding the fairness of assessmentp. 41
Comparison with recent assessment outcomesp. 43
Discussion and comparison with othersp. 44
Effortv47
Comparison with personal expectations and past experiencesp. 51
Level playing fieldp. 52
The nature and extent of feedback about assessmentp. 64
The balance and variety of assessment tasksp. 67
The relevance of assessment tasksp. 73
Skilful teachersp. 75
Teachers displaying a caring attitudep. 82
Conclusionp. 90
sponding to unfair assessmentp. 91
Emotional reactionsp. 91
Response modifiersp. 95
Students' level of desperationp. 96
Students' concern about ramificationsp. 100
Students' level of maturityp. 103
Students' self beliefsp. 105
Students' perception of teachers' approachabilityp. 110
Students' knowledge of processp. 112
Responsep. 115
Taking actionp. 116
Opting outp. 123
Survivingp. 124
Variation of responses and how they feed back into the process of demonstrating capabilityp. 128
Conclusionp. 129
Making assessment fairerp. 131
Insights into students' views on assessmentp. 131
Recommendationsp. 132
Course coordinatorsp. 133
Teachersp. 135
Programme teamsp. 142
Universitiesp. 144
Further researchp. 146
Conclusionp. 147
Glossaryp. 149
Bibliographyp. 151
Indexp. 163
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415578134
ISBN-10: 0415578132
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 167
Published: 7th December 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.11 x 15.49  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1