Phil Race

Assessment, learning and teaching in higher education

Assessment: bits of my new editions

I’ve today put together a ‘Digest’ of some quite long extracts from ‘Making Learning Happen’ (3rd edition published May 2014) and the 4th edition of ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit’ (published this year), from the respective chapters on Assessment. These are the bits focussing on traditional assessment formats such as exams and essays, and I’ve put enough (I hope) of the preceding discussion from each chapter to set the scene. You’ll also be able to see the different styles of the two books, and sometimes compare two different ways of approaching the same topics. (These extracts are of course from my disc versions of the submitted manuscripts, and the published editions have the benefit of copy-editors’ expertise from the respective publishers). If you find this useful, please re-tweet using the button below. Also, any feedback really appreciated – thanks in advance for this.  Extracts from 'Making Learning Happen' and 'Lecturer's Toolkit' (37)

Written by Phil

29 January, 2015 at 5:11 pm

University of Utrecht: 26th and 27th January

Sally and I are delighted to be working in Utrecht again, and are being well looked after on our visit. Here are the main slides I used in my two workshops on feedback, where I have updated the slides to include the differences between the two workshops, where I altered the order to ‘lead the witnesses’ on the 26th, and to ‘start from your experience’ on the 27th.  Utrecht2 (15)
There were not enough of you to have a workshop on small-group teaching, but thanks to a few of you for participating in a discussion and a related exercise. The main slides relating to that are here: small groups slides (9), updated now with the three introductory slides I used. I’ve also added the booklet on ‘personal tutoring’ which I wrote with colleagues from Leeds Met some time ago. personal tutoring (14).

Great working with you, and thanks for looking after us so well.

Written by Phil

26 January, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Preparing your HEA application

Many colleagues have used our ‘HEA Fellowships-on-one-page’ handout, which is best printed out A3 in colour when working on your applications for Associate Fellowship, Fellowship, Senior Fellowship and Principal Fellowship.

Sally and I have now revised the grid to incorporate updates from the HEA, and would recommend that you use this version rather than the earlier versions. UKPSF summary: update 2015 (58) Note that the ‘2015’ column is current information from the HEA website, which supersedes the job descriptions still present in the 2011 UKPSF document.

We are also pleased to provide the main slides UKPSF slides 2015 (34) we currently use at workshops assisting people to draft their applications, with slides with black headings drawing from resources from the HEA, and those with purple headings consisting of our own thoughts and some we’ve gathered from other sources.

We are happy for both these downloads to be used as Open Educational Resources (Phil Race and Sally Brown)

Written by Phil

16 January, 2015 at 6:17 pm

UWE: workshop on SFHEA and PFHEA: 14th January 2015

Here are the main slides I used, and some I did not use, relating to applying to the HEA online for the ‘experience’ route towards Senior and Principal Fellowships. The slides are password-protected, using the word you suggested. UWE 14th January (26) The slides were devised using materials from the HEA website, and from other things we gathered from a number of sources. We haven’t yet made it clear which are our advice and which are ‘official’, but when we’ve finished putting together a working set of slides, we’ll both publish it on our websites.

You were a great group to work with, and well done for completing significant elements of your respective applications. The sooner you finish off the task, the better it will be (while you still recall all the discussions we had). I wish you all the best for now pressing on to get your award – you’re fortunate in the institutional support you have (not least the fee).

Written by Phil

14 January, 2015 at 6:19 pm

University of Manchester: School of Materials: 13th January

Here are the main slides I used in our two sessions. Thanks for being such a great audience. I hope to see you again before long. Manchester morning (39), Manchester: afternoon (19)

Written by Phil

13 January, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Oxford Brookes University: 7th January

Here are the main slides I used in my workshop with you this morning, and a paper I wrote on linking engagement to the factors underpinning successful learning. I really enjoyed working with you all. (But sadly my train to Newcastle is being terminated at Birmingham!!) Oxford Brookes Engagement (26). Getting Students Engaged paper (48)

Written by Phil

7 January, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Central College Nottingham: 5th January

Here are the main slides I used, minus the pictures and links, and not always in the order in which I used them Central College Nottingham (26). I’ve inserted the QAA B6 slides too. Here also is the great 2004 paper by Geoff Scott on institutional change Geoff Scott's Paper (12). I’ve also added a paper on ‘Getting Students Engaged’ Getting Students Engaged paper (48).

Please use the ‘search’ function at the right hand side of the website using ‘joughin’ to get to Gordon Joughin’s booklet about oral assessment, and ‘NUS’ to get to their benchmarking tool for assessment and feedback, and ‘observation’ to get to my peer observation booklet. Thanks to Simon for lift to the station, where I just caught a train to Chesterfield then onward to Newcastle. You were a great group to work with – hope to see you again.

Written by Phil

5 January, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Royal Veterinary College: 16th December

Great working with you all today. Here are the  main slides.  RVC keynote (40)  RVC workshop (30) Please use the ‘search’ function at the rhs of the site to find ‘Joughin’ for the booklet on oral assessment, and NUS for the benchmarking tool. Wishing you all the best for the Festive Season, and hoping to return to RVC one day.

Written by Phil

16 December, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Making small-group teaching work

Small-group learning is really important for students, but often gets eclipsed in the literature by the more ‘public’ aspect of large-group lectures. I’ve written lots about both, in the ‘Lecturer’s Toolkit’ (2006 and 2015) and in ‘Making Learning Happen’ (2014). I often use Chapter 4 of the Toolkit as a handout in my workshops on small-group learning, and this particular chapter remains largely unchanged in the 2015 edition, so I am putting the Chapter up as a download here Making small-group teaching work (66), not least as a response to Twitter requests for help regarding small-group teaching. I hope you find it useful.

Written by Phil

14 December, 2014 at 11:39 am

University of Durham: 10th December

Here are the main slides I used in our two workshops today, and the checklist for students to indicate how they use learning outcomes.  Learning outcomes Durham (38) Towards assessment as learning (36) Learning outcomes checklist (40) You were a great group to work with, thanks for making me so welcome. Thanks specially to Sam for picking me up and delivering me back to Durham station – where I walked straight onto the train bearing Sally back from London.

Written by Phil

10 December, 2014 at 7:54 pm

University of Northumbria 9th December

Great working with you today. Here are the main slides I used Northumbria slides (30) and Chapter 3 from ‘How to get a good degree’ from which the last half of the session was adapted building on feedback handout (27). Thanks for all the Tweets. The photo shows the astrologically-selected winner of the book, and another photo could be thought to be one theme of the session. Good luck with your studies.


Written by Phil

9 December, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Lecturer’s Toolkit 2015 4th edition now out

This is much revised and expanded compared to the 2007 version, and now contains the essay marking exercise I often use, and the ‘Statements’ exercise.  The following link takes you to a page where the main contents are spelled out in some detail.

toolkit 4th editionChapter 1:      How students really learn

Chapter 2:      Designing assessment and feedback to enhance learning

Chapter 3:      Lectures in the digital age

Chapter 4:      Making small-group teaching work

Chapter 5:      Resource-based learning in the digital age

Chapter 6:      Looking after yourself

Chapter 7:      Challenges and Reflection


Written by Phil

5 December, 2014 at 8:07 am

NUIG: Nursing and Midwifery: 4th December

Great day at Galway working with staff on ‘Making Directed Learning Happen’ Thanks for lots of Tweets. Main slides here:  NUIG (37). Now at Maldron Airport Hotel in Dublin, awaiting tomorrow’s flight to Newcastle. By popular request, I’ve tonight written up the exercise I mentioned – but which we didn’t do – involving peer assessing sketches of cats peer assessing cats (42). This is an amusing and effective introduction to peer-assessment for students.

I’ve also now added Sally’s ‘Egg Game’ – a great fun introduction to self and peer assessment. Sally's egg game (28)

Written by Phil

4 December, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Sally’s new book now out

Sally’s new book was launched at the SEDA Conference earlier this month.  (Brown, S. (2015) Learning, teaching and assessment in higher education: global perspectives, London: Palgrave-MacMillan). At the launch, she gave out a handout of some snippets on assessment and feedback, which you can download here: Extract from book (63). The photo shows her holding the book, before cutting the cake of the book at the conference. Many thanks to Palgrave for the champagne reception. (Sometimes it’s good to eat one’s words!).photo (8) (1) - Copy

Written by Phil

24 November, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Bournemouth University: November 19th and 20th

Here are the main slides I used. The two groups were very different on the 19th and 20th, and we got through quite a lot more on the latter. The slides here are composite, and include slides that one group saw and the other didn’t. As I explained, I ran the feedback workshop in a different order on the two days, and present the slides as used on the 20th, to demonstrate to participants present on the 19th that I wasn’t ‘leading the witnesses’.

For the assessment workshop, I’ve also inserted the ‘long’ version of the discussion on validity, reliability, etc, which you can use with the sheet I issued to self-rate a particular assessment of your own (I’ve also described how to do this in the 2nd and 3rd editions of ‘Making Learning Happen’). I’ve also posted the HEA 2012 slides, which I whizzed through on the final afternoon, but now you can use them to think about what we need to do to make assessment a lot better. I particularly enjoyed working with you on the 20th. Bournemouth feedback (58), Towards assessment as learning (61), HEA 2012 slides (37).

Written by Phil

20 November, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Post-Constructive Alignment?

I’ve been thinking recently that ‘constructive alignment’ is only part of the story – even though it is a very sensible part. Here are some thoughts about a bigger picture. Post-Constructive Alignment? (121). (Written at Newcastle Airport on the way to Southampton and Bournemouth).

Written by Phil

18 November, 2014 at 2:22 pm

SEDA Museum of Curiosities

At the SEDA Conference last week in Nottingham, many delegates were astonished at the Museum presentation prepared by Peter Hartley and myself. The slides are downloadable here, including the Underhand Projector. Seda Museum slides (52). If you find these slides amusing, please Tweet the link! Thanks Peter for the idea.

Written by Phil

15 November, 2014 at 10:30 am

University of York: 12th November

Good to be back at York University after a few years. Here are the slides I used this morning in our workshop of Assessment, to which I’ve added the short input I made to the session on writing teaching portfolios in the afternoon. York (38) Please look at the post below this one to download my checklists in planning and reflecting on your teaching, and a critical comparison for eleven assessment methods. Search the website for ‘Ferrell’ if you want to download the excellent JISC publication on the electronic management of assessment (EMA) by Gill Ferrell.

Written by Phil

12 November, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Bits of new books: 6th November

Here are downloads of two bits from my forthcoming and recent books.

‘Planning and reflecting on your teaching’ comprises two quite detailed tables, and will be included in the 4th edition of ‘The Lecturer’s Toolkit’ to be published in early 2015. Planning and reflecting on your teaching (301)

By popular request the ‘Critical Comparison of eleven assessment types’ is a table adapted from Chapter 4 of the 3rd edition of ‘Making Learning Happen’ which was published by Sage in May this year. Critical comparison of assessment types (302). You might notice that ‘essays’ fare rather badly, especially under the ‘whodunit’ issue.

I hope you find these downloads useful – if so, please re-tweet the link!

Written by Phil

6 November, 2014 at 10:24 am

Sheffield Hallam University: 5th November

Here are the main slides we used in our afternoon together SHU (45). You were great to work with, and I wish you well in implementing some of these ideas as you update curriculum for re-validation. I will shortly be putting a couple of further bits of my work on assessment up on this site, and these will appear in the next post – they may indeed be useful to you too.

Written by Phil

5 November, 2014 at 8:09 pm