Professional identities, assessment, transactions and transformations: A dramatic inquiry and presentation

Year: 2017

Author: Davis, Susan, Dargusch, Joanne, Harris, Lois

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Forms of qualitative research have expanded and diversified with increasing recognition of the value of processes and outcomes that value participant voice, and are presented through forms that highlight the affective and experiential dimensions of knowing. While forms of narrative inquiry and ethnodrama (Mienczakowski & Morgan 2001; Saldana, 2003; Norris, 2007) have been long recognised as powerful for their potential to provide rich insights into particular human experiences and phenomenon, forms of dramatic inquiry and scriptwriting as research are also becoming more widely used (Baker 2013, Baker, Batty, Beattie & Davis 2015, Harris & Holman Jones 2016). This process involves both working with the data in ways similar to other qualitative research, but also with sensitivity to roles, language, patterns, contrast, rhythm and voice. This paper will share scripted outcomes of HEPPP funded research from the "Supporting Student Assessment Success" (SSAS) Project. This project has gathered quantitative and qualitative data from students across diverse discipline areas to better understand how students from identified equity groups experience assessment within 1st year courses. In particular, the work that underpins this paper and presentation explored:
a) the diverse identities and backgrounds students have coming into their programs of study,
b) their initial expectations of assessment, and
c) factors which helped and thwarted their academic success.
The dramatic inquiry approach adopted within this paper will highlight the different ways assessment features in the transition of students' identities as learners and future professionals and how assessment experiences act as transactions and/or transformations. It will also illustrate the promise that this research approach has for helping share and explain research findings to a broader audience.