Intention, Implementation and Perception of Pre-Service Teacher Education Assessment Practices: Staff and Pre-service Teacher Perspectives

Year: 2016

Author: Brunker, Nicole, Spandagou, Ilektra, Burgess, Catherine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Through assessment students engage with and practice new knowledge and skills to demonstrate their learning. Assessment has pedagogical value and at the same time it is the main determinant of students’ progression through a degree. Therefore, how students perceive assessment is essential in terms of how they engage with it and their satisfaction with their course experience. This project explored how current assessment practice in a postgraduate teacher education program was employed and perceived by staff and pre-service teachers. Central to the program’s assessment practices has been the use of ungraded criterion referenced assessment to support collaboration and focus learner attention on learning rather than on grades (Boud and Associates, 2010). Recent feedback from pre-service teachers in the program had highlighted their concerns with ungraded assessment which they saw as related to course anxiety and focus on passing over learning. Feedback had also highlighted pre-service teacher perception of inconsistency in relation to open-ended assessment. Central to this program is the development of reflective teachers to lead change within the education system. In meeting this aim, foundational units within the program are designed to challenge existing beliefs and develop skills of critical and analytical thinking, within a collaborative learning community. Approaches to deep learning, which are required to meet these goals, have been highlighted as profoundly difficult, showing that while inappropriate assessment may support surface learning, changes to assessment alone will not facilitate deep learning (Joughin, 2009). Through a review of assessment practices and focus group interviews with pre-service teachers and staff, this project has highlighted crucial areas for ongoing research and development to enable constructive alignment through teaching, learning and assessment. This presentation will share the insights gained and explore areas for future directions in pre-service teacher education assessment practice.