Engaging Students Online

An Act of Juggling: The Challenge of Sustainable Assessment in an Overloaded Academic Role

Denise Wood (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

Assessment provides evidence of transformative change in student knowledge and skills. Currently, the pressure to design and implement a planned, cohesive approach to assessment across a curriculum is clear. The implementation of quality assessment practices across a curriculum is one of the many balls academics need to juggle. Additionally, in 2020, COVID-19 has forced academics to pivot their assessment designs within the context of a course to meet online requirements. This paper explores the impact of the roles of academics on sustainable assessment at all levels of curriculum. It seeks to open discussion about the act of juggling and asks: which need greater focus and which require collaborative juggling?

Early Assessment Tasks as the First Leap into Assessment in Higher Education

Prue Gonzalez and Kelly Linden (Charles Sturt University, Australia)

Well-designed early assessment tasks can assist students to make a successful transition into university, both socially and academically. Early assessment items can facilitate students’ learning, build confidence, and provide feedback to students and staff on students’ progress. But what makes an effective early assessment item? How do we design assessments that align with learning outcomes, discipline content, program requirements and future practice, while also supporting the transition of our diverse student body into the complex world of academia? This is especially important for online students who may have little contact with staff or students.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Experiences to Engage Students Learning Remotely

Sonia Wilkie and Ghaith Zakaria (Victoria University, Australia)

Educators strive to equip students with required skills and knowledge to learning success. While field trips, site visits, and lab classes offer authentic learning experiences, the implications of COVID-19 home isolation mean that students cannot physically participate in location-based learning experiences. The solution was to source and develop virtual learning experiences that simulate the activities which students undertake on location. In this presentation we showcase a range of VR/AR activities that academics can use in their classes, and provide a VR/AR manual with associated lesson plans which we developed for educators to use as learning resource within their own classes.

00:28:41 pvochh: I like the way Denise said, people have no conception of what she/academics do with their time – that’s the ivory tower for you!
00:30:01 Prue Gonzalez: It can feel like being a member of a secret society at times…
00:30:58 Phillip Ebbs: I certainly agree!. lot of change occurring to shift this, yet how do we retain the valuable aspects of the traditional models in a modern and increasingly commercially driven higher education sector?
00:32:15 Prue Gonzalez: Agree Phillip – and thinking critically about what we value and why about our models of higher education.
00:32:21 Sally McCarthy: Yes, retaining the transformative nature of higher education rather than employment driven outcomes
00:32:23 Gregory Auhl: I think part of the issue here is the difference between ‘education’ and ‘training’. This has been blurred within society (and government, too)
00:32:45 pvochh: indeed, our identities are being shaped externally at an alarming rate viz KPI.
00:32:50 Anne Tierney: Agree Greg.
00:35:42 Gregory Auhl: This is one of the crucial aspects of assessment. Is it just a hurdle, or does it drive susttained knowledge such that a schema about a discipline is built
00:38:47 pvochh: would be a good exercise, I think, to get colleagues to rank these in order of priority or time demand for each of them.
00:40:09 Sally McCarthy: Yes indeed, priority and time would give a good indication of what is valued by the institution
00:40:50 pvochh: and the self-ascribed identity of the academic
00:45:45 pvochh: Yes, COVID the corrector, resetting our priorities
00:46:04 Gregory Auhl: Absolutely!
00:46:08 pvochh: great talk, Denise, thank you!
00:46:24 Prue Gonzalez: Wonderful Denise – very thought provoking!
00:46:24 Sonia Wilkie: Very informative! Thank you!
00:46:29 Anne Tierney: Love it that you include collegiality – so important
00:47:02 Prue Gonzalez: Yes, Anne – and so crucial!
00:59:09 Prue Gonzalez: No ESP this time – sorry Kelly 🙂
00:59:53 Gregory Auhl: Good to see the statistical significance of the improvement being reported
01:01:07 Kelly Linden: Thanks Greg!
01:07:08 pvochh: our challenge is actualising this ideal
01:07:43 Sally McCarthy: Great, support really important and sometimes staff in addition to students are not aware of what is available.
01:07:54 Prue Gonzalez: 2 minutes to go Prue
01:07:57 pvochh: good teachers do want to support students in so many ways, but reality does not allow them to in many pockets.
01:08:23 Phillip Ebbs: 100% agree
01:08:25 Denise Wood: feedback is such a valuable tool – so much to think about in the space though – students don’t always see its value when they have ‘ticked off’ that assessment and moved onto the next.
01:08:29 Kelly Linden: Prue has led this work to ensure at least one subject for every commencing undergraduate student at Charles Sturt has an early assessment item that meets these principles
01:09:58 Gregory Auhl: That’s a good approach. Of course, as we discussed yesterday, feedback is a two-way interaction
01:10:15 pvochh: in my grade driven context, many students seem happy to move on quickly once the task is done and the grade is known. feedback is not highly valued unfortunately or perhaps just not seen as crucial for strange reasons.
01:10:16 Denise Wood: time, load and mulitple expectations impact on the preparedness to explore different assessment strategies
01:11:07 Gregory Auhl: Never apologise for using the literature to support your work 🙂
01:11:37 Anne Tierney: Really enjoyed that – do you include the personal tutor system in this?
01:12:36 Kelly Linden: Hi Anne, at this stage we have not included personal tutor
01:12:48 Prue Gonzalez: Hi Anne – we don’t have this embedded in the program, but this would be great.
01:12:49 Anne Tierney: Thanks, Kelly.
01:12:49 Kelly Linden: We are looking to cross check with Studiosity data
01:13:38 Anne Tierney: Thanks Prue.
01:14:02 Denise Wood: we need some writing retreats…
01:14:21 Gregory Auhl: Finding that time is a challenge, isn’t it
01:15:36 Anne Tierney: I think that is so important to have an early assessment
01:17:15 Prue Gonzalez: Thank you everyone 🙂
01:17:30 Kelly Linden: Back to basics: Combining analytics and early assessment with personalised contact to improve student progress…. Pg 499 https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_7c23a6c/UQ7c23a6c_OA.pdf?Expires=1593737891&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJKNBJ4MJBJNC6NLQ&Signature=KCa5Bmy297dTvFnNlkG~yJpr0Nz5ExecuP0xPgLzFPBohRcGzCP8Z1Drb7Fxus15znxL7IyiF~gItDTHzJjN5Pjj8JNRBxfnQFHIz5c8DRFwUDubc~3iHfW8tpNv1O~LzZLGLiOcZU4hItPALbqKQJYFlG6KmjNYjO~N14o1rr9aonqy040FTgcBzp3cXw~0hsZeVVcyaHOc0-k1J3jIRQAEoKv~iH9qkoKX00eRiYHKDycHQEfzCqJhDeFvkC1jpADT2oP7B20tEenaARIMihAbkbfxQR7dHJ~4JAzJ9qujOtV-YCNyGThKXQ8aTFy13PqETZvR8kI5HKsUhSFoZA__#page=500
01:18:09 pvochh: nicely done, Prue and Kelly. Thank you!
01:18:10 Denise Wood: thank you for all the comments (that I have now read) around juggling and assessment.
01:18:32 Kelly Linden: Early Assessment items principles: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aZIn2SCrLD-WNhTxV7woGMpK2RL7No-I/view?usp=sharing
01:19:14 Sally McCarthy: Thanks Kelly
01:22:05 Prue Gonzalez: Sonia has created a work book to share.
01:22:12 Prue Gonzalez: AR and VR in the classroom:
01:22:26 Phillip Ebbs: Would love to see it!
01:22:39 Phillip Ebbs: Wonderful, thanks Prue
01:23:51 Prue Gonzalez: Looks fantastic! Might be time I enrol at Vic Uni as a student!
01:25:39 Phillip Ebbs: Welcome Noela H., you have joined us during another wonderful paper presentation
01:27:22 Sally McCarthy: I’m working with Grad Cert Fire Investigation, this would be fantastic.
01:28:05 Noela Haughton: Thanks!
01:31:28 Denise Wood: amazing! Thank you.
01:31:43 Denise Wood: hello Noela!
01:32:00 Anne Tierney: Really great resources
01:32:10 Sally McCarthy: So interesting thanks Sonia and for the workbook.
01:33:17 Kelly Linden: Such fantastic resources
01:37:05 Noela Haughton: Love Noelia’s ideas about making resources available. I also love her name
01:37:40 Noelia Roman: Noela I love your name also!
01:40:20 Denise Wood: whole of course approach to assessment – yes!!
01:40:26 Noela Haughton: Hi Denise and everyone. I wish I could have gotten here sooner
01:40:38 Denise Wood: also it is an early success possibliity.
01:40:47 Noelia Roman: Denise we are trying! I will let you know how we go…
01:41:27 Denise Wood: love to have that chat Noelia – we are always willing to support you in terms of academic development and learning.
01:42:26 Noela Haughton: How many high stakes assessment are you able to implement in these large classes?
01:43:25 Kelly Linden: Great thanks @Denise – Noelia has so many fantastic ideas
01:44:17 Prue Gonzalez: It differs Noela – we have some units with 3 assessments, others with 7, others with large high stakes assessments worth 60% (usually and exam)
01:48:08 pvochh: Need to go to other mtgs. back later. Thanks to all presenters – great work! have a nice day/evening, everyone.
01:48:26 Prue Gonzalez: Thank you Huang Hoon – see you soon 🙂
01:48:50 Phillip Ebbs: Wonderful, JimWilkinson giving an address in 1.5hrs
01:48:53 Anne Tierney: @Greg when I taught UGs we’d always try to dissuade students to direct entry into second year for those reasons
01:49:00 Denise Wood: see you later Huang Hoon nice ot chat today.
01:49:03 Phillip Ebbs: sorry, 2.5hrs
01:49:12 Anne Tierney: They also miss out on the socialisation
01:49:38 pvochh: happy to connect anyone who wants to connect with Peter Felten.
01:49:51 Prue Gonzalez: Thank you Huang Hoon – he’s just fantastic!
01:50:07 Prue Gonzalez: The ‘relentless welcome’ really resonates with me
01:50:33 Noela Haughton: yes
01:50:56 Gregory Auhl: Yes Anne – in a recent review, we tried to remove that pathway. Its challenging, because it brings $ into the institution!
01:51:00 Denise Wood: sorry- we CSU people cant help talking!
01:51:01 Noela Haughton: i think is a joint design of course and curriculum jointly
01:51:07 Prue Gonzalez: Hello Anne 🙂 It’s so nice to see you again!
01:51:21 Noela Haughton: Anne does not sleep
01:51:32 Prue Gonzalez: Noela – I hear you! And this takes time and effort…
01:51:52 Denise Wood: she mustn’t! Welcome to this morning ANne!
01:52:05 Noela Haughton: I think of things in systems terms. Higher Ed is not just about content
01:52:57 Noela Haughton: Same in the US – especially fist generation
01:53:18 Prue Gonzalez: Totally agree! The issue of chronic siloing makes this difficult!
01:53:24 Anne Tierney: I was asleep and I woke up at 1.10, so it was fate, really.
01:53:42 Denise Wood: And we can be grateful for that Anne!
01:53:52 Prue Gonzalez: Don’t get me started on the term ‘content delivery’!
01:54:02 Prue Gonzalez: Ugh!
01:54:07 Phillip Ebbs: I am not a saddist,but i am glad youdid not get sleep – great yo have your contribution Anne
01:54:27 Anne Tierney: @Prue – goes back to Greg’s early comment about education vs training
01:54:31 Denise Wood: I”m with you there Prue. Sometimes there is so much content it is not possible to learn or explore.
01:55:26 Anne Tierney: I agree, Noelia – I’ve always said that second year is the vulnerable year
01:55:33 Anne Tierney: Noela
01:55:45 Noela Haughton: I will be Noelia’s twin
01:55:53 Anne Tierney: Yes!
01:55:53 Prue Gonzalez: @Noela – Continuity of care… I really like this term 🙂
01:56:05 Denise Wood: Yes Noela. Its about profiling the students across each year and thinking about the relentless welcome mentioned by Prue.
01:56:11 Noelia Roman: I agree with everything you said Nella so it works
01:56:17 Noelia Roman: Noela
01:59:26 Noela Haughton: Totally Andis
01:59:37 Phillip Ebbs: 100%
01:59:50 Gregory Auhl: Sorry – have to leave for a while. I have a physiothersapist appointment in 10 min and want to drive at least a little safely… Great session & discussion
01:59:57 Prue Gonzalez: I completely agree with you Andis!
02:00:44 Prue Gonzalez: And graduates will have a variety of different jobs in different disciplines throughout their lifetime.
02:00:46 Noela Haughton: I agree with Andis; students have to be able to use soft skills to engage the hard skills
02:00:59 Prue Gonzalez: Thank you Andis!
02:01:05 Denise Wood: I have often struggled with the design of an assessment that is more than playing the academic game and more about real life.
02:01:13 Noela Haughton: More like a loonie (dollar)
02:02:01 Denise Wood: what do we really mean about sustainable assessment?
02:02:27 Denise Wood: sorry, by the term sustainable?
02:03:08 Denise Wood: some of our processes make new ways of doing things challenging. And there is a fear of accreditation.
02:03:55 Noela Haughton: in the US – accredited disciplines have limited opportunity to stray from the prescribed equirements
02:05:20 Prue Gonzalez: Ahhh, thanks Noela. Accreditation is a whole other ball game.
02:05:30 Prue Gonzalez: But really needs to be part of the discussion
02:05:30 Denise Wood: I have to go to a meeting. Will see you later this afternoon. Thank you so much – this has been really inspiring. Keep juggling those balls!
02:05:42 Prue Gonzalez: Thanks Denise!
02:06:52 Noelia Roman: Prue Denise I would love to talk about co creation of assessments soon as we start developing the assessments for our new microsession course
02:07:27 Sally McCarthy: And the pressure for academics to be designers of quality assessment tasks is increasing and needs to be considered.
02:07:27 Prue Gonzalez: Let’s lock this in Noelia 🙂 Would be so exciting to work on as a group.
02:09:33 Denise Wood: Happy to keep going
02:10:16 Denise Wood: that’s a big picture thought Phllip- love it. Have to go though! Bye.
02:10:18 Prue Gonzalez: It’s so important to understand (or try to understand) how the system works.
02:10:38 Prue Gonzalez: We might all start to emerge from our siloes?
02:11:51 Noelia Roman: hahaha you are fabulous Noela, would love to hear your thoughts when you are not being recorded!
02:13:05 Noela Haughton: I think institutions are also choosing winners and losers – programs are are worthwhile (STEM) and those that are not important
02:13:44 Prue Gonzalez: You mentioned something really important Noela – responsibility. I think there is confusion around responsibility. Who is responsible for what? When? How? Why?
02:14:19 Anne Tierney: The whole STEM/Humanities argument came up in Europe yesterday – worth a listen (papers 4, I think, in the morning)
02:14:45 Prue Gonzalez: Thanks for the heads up Anne – I’m keen to watch this recording!
02:15:50 Denise Wood: and the value of a discipline is connected to the world of finance and work – a cultural commentary really. every discipline needs creative and cultural perspectives and people who can think creatively and innovate.
02:18:04 Anne Tierney: Agree Karen – what does “value for money” actually mean?
02:18:32 Denise Wood: I agree Noela and Karen.
02:19:12 Denise Wood: and who we see ourselves as- our identity.
02:19:26 Anne Tierney: I am so glad I woke up! Lovely to see you all again!
02:19:48 Anne Tierney: I’m not coming to the 1 o’clock session, sorry.
02:19:52 Andis Klegeris: Thank you everyone!
02:19:53 Noela Haughton: bye!
02:19:54 Anne Tierney: Bye

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