Rod and I attended a webinar given by the iTeam project from the University of Hertfordshire on 15 March 2012. (A recording of the webinar is available).
The webinar was titled ‘Efficiency of assessment – initial thinking from the ITEAM project’ and the team did gave us a quick run through a whole range of their thinking about several different aspects and the work they were doing to develop tools to promote discussion about assessment and feedback design.
They are developing a very neat little tool in Excel to demonstrate the impact of using different assessments in terms of the time needed for different tasks. I liked this, although a few of us were worried about how it might get used – personally, I’ve had bad experiences of trying to get people to talk about how long it takes to do different types of assessment although this may have been more a matter of approach than of the content. The team did point out that it was intended for discussion about the issues rather than a management tool, and that it wasn’t intended to be definitive. Mark Russell had a robust response to those who were slightly worried about it: “Just because it’s messy and clumsy shouldn’t stop us at least trying to do it” – this is probably a good motto for all of our projects.
The assessment timelines used in the ESCAPE project were also reviewed together with an explanation of how they are being used.
Rod and I had a lot of discussion between ourselves in the chat room about how we would take this forward -that is a sign of a good session! We are going to review their principles of assessment in relation to our own and start introducing the timelines as part of our usual staff development activity around feedback.