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Core 2a: An understanding of teaching, learning and/or assessment processes

A story about changing assessment practices

My somewhat unsettled work-life over the last four years is well reflected in various attempts of writing this portfolio. Hence, the decision to just go for it and put it all out there, before something else changes yet again. I will order the reflections and examples from newest to oldest. Something I am currently really excited to write about are the new developments on our integrated MEd in Academic Practice. I have taken the programme leadership for the final two years of the programme (PGDip and Dissertation Exit Points).

Anyway, in a recent conversation with a friend (also a lecturer) who is currently undergoing the postgraduate certificate in learning and teaching in higher education in another institution an issue came to the fore. The friend complained that they had to write assignments like undergraduate students. As everyone on the course is an academic, this form of text was perceived as patronizing and quite boring.

We have begun to rethink our assessment processes significantly, involving the opportunities technology actually affords us. So for instance, I am the course-coordinator the Active Pedagogies course—mind you I wanted to call it Disruptive Pedagogies but hit my head very hard against invisible and very visible authors of our performative institutional culture (Kösel, 2004). Anyhow, it is still a brand-spanking new course, and quite different. Each session is held to 50% in different spaces and then gathered in the seminar-room for reflection and theorizing. After I introduced my initial brainchild (detailed blog-post follows and will be linked) to my colleague and co-coordinator on the course:

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We had an intensive session and developed an entirely new theoretical model—again more later. Anyhow, part of our debate was to integrate 3rd space/place and encourage the course participants (mainly academics with teaching remit) to engage with different spaces, experience liminality and explore the potential of these concepts for their students. Furthermore, the assessment we planned was the development of three artifacts that can become part of the participants professional portfolio and which they can use in their own practice with their students. These artifacts can be actual physical objects, lesson plans, digitial artifacts, or digital representations of actual objects. The participants can choose any form of text (Multiple-Literacies Theory) they find useful in their field. The hope is that the mixture of tangible active learning and theorizing will make fairly complex and sometimes somewhat murky—liminal if you wish—concepts accessible and translatable into learning and teaching in higher education.

The Next two pages ↓↓↓↓ showcase: Impact Pedagogy—A principle for teaching and Padlets with further case studies reflecting on Core 2a. ↓↓↓↓

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