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2009 TLHE Keynote Address 1 : How Assessment Can Support or Undermine Learning

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SPEAKER :Professor Graham GibbsVisiting Professor, Oxford Brookes UniversityFormer Director, Oxford Learning Institute, University of OxfordSYPNOSIS :Most attention given to assessment in universities involves addressing concerns about standards and accountability and to measure what students have learnt. However, it is not just about standards and measurement. Assessment exercises not only capture and orient students time and attention, they also provide feedback, which has an invaluable impact on students learning. Unfortunately, some assessment exercises actually undermine the very learning they intend to measure. This presentation provides firsthand accounts from students about their assessment experiences and gives examples of cunning and economical changes to assessment regimes that dramatically improved student learning. It also articulates a set of conditions under which assessment supports student learning and gives practical examples of assessment tactics that embody these conditions. Finally, empirical evidence from contrasting courses and degree programmes will be provided that shed light on why some assessment arrangements support student learning more effectively than others.About the SpeakerProfessor Graham Gibbs was Director of the Oxford Learning Institute at the University of Oxford until 2007. He has over 30 years of research experience specialising in teaching and learning in higher education and has led a series of large scale initiatives to develop university teaching at institutional, national and international levels. His efforts have been recognised with Honorary Doctorates conferred by several universities, including the University of Utrecht for the development of teaching and learning in universities worldwide.

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