Presented by Professor Gary Velan, Faculty of Medicine
Standards-based assessment and feedback is a major focus for UNSW. All assessment tasks in the UNSW Medicine program relate to graduate capabilities. However, in this integrated program with no discipline-specific assessments, there had been no defined performance standards for components of assessments relating to biomedical sciences disciplines. Consequently, students did not receive feedback regarding their development against standards for each discipline. Unsurprisingly therefore, students had been unsure of how their learning has progressed. This was particularly problematic for students who are at risk of failure, as well as those who failed high-stakes assessments, because they were not benchmarked against standards that would provide an indication of areas of weakness that require remediation.
In 2015, a Learning and Teaching Fellowship project team delineated performance standards (based on consensus content standards) for biomedical sciences disciplines in the Medicine program. Those standards have informed assessment and feedback practice, and have already been implemented for high-stakes assessments in Phase 1 of the Medicine program. This has enabled personalised feedback to students with benchmarking against standards, as well as forming the basis for measuring students' growth over time in relation to each discipline. It is intended that this will serve as a model for Medicine, as well as for other disciplines at UNSW.
The processes, benefits and challenges of implementing standards-based assessment will be addressed, and attendees are invited to discuss whether such an approach might be applicable in their discipline.
Room 1025, Level 10, UNSW Library