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The lived experience of formative assessment practice in a British university

Asghar, Mandy (2012) The lived experience of formative assessment practice in a British university. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 36 (2). pp. 205-223.

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Abstract

Higher education institutional assessment policy is dominated by summative assessment regulation, with little emphasis on the role of formative assessment to improve student learning. Yet the challenge for academics is to integrate more formative assessment practice into what many see as already overloaded curricula. It is questionable whether recent considerations of theoretical framings of formative assessment have helped the situation or whether they have instead muddied it further in relation to understanding the best ways to approach a practice that promotes students’ learning. This article reports the findings of a qualitative study which explored the perceptions and opinions concerning formative assessment practice of a group of academics at a British post-92 university. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to gather data from a group of nine academics. The resulting thematic analysis revealed three themes: conceptions of formative assessment; making learning happen through assessment; and the challenge of engaging students. The findings highlight constraints of time and differing opinions of formative assessment practice. Communities of practice, activity theory and the role of signature pedagogies are reflected upon, and consideration is thus given to what it is that influences an academic’s choice of formative assessment practices.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2011.606901
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
School/Department: Academic Development Directorate
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/470

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