Assessment and learning: What undergraduate students think

Year: 1996

Author: Koop, Gabrielle

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper examines undergraduate students' perceptions of learning and of assessment and the impact of assessment on their learning. At present, the theory and the practice of assessment are undergoing a paradigm shift from a psychometric tradition of assessment to a broader, educational model. What is being advocated is an analytical approach to assessment which includes considerations of the impact and effects of assessment on teaching and on learning. This shift acknowledges that the different aspects of the curriculum cannot be seen as isolated dimensions of a whole but need to be developed in an integrated fashion with the effects of each dimension being anticipated and being used in the learning process.

Final year undergraduate students across the disciplines of Education, Engineering and Nursing and Health Studies were interviewed to develop an understanding of the interplay between their perceptions of learning and of the outcomes of the teaching-learning process. This paper reports on some of the outcomes and suggests ways that university teachers can manipulate the assessment process so as to maximise learning.