Assessment in large classes can be manageable for staff and drive deep learning in students.
- Front-end investment in assessment design in larges classes translates to lesser problems later. This could include comprehensive instructions for assignments, detailed assessment criteria and practice assessment opportunity.
- Spending class time on developing strategies to approach assignments can be used to build student understanding on how assessment aligns with key learning outcomes.
- An assessment task early in the Semester will allow for students to know how their efforts translate into marks and clarify expectations.
- Automated marking can be used for continuous assessment to check how students are learning core knowledge. Options include Blackboard quizzes or scannable/scratchable forms in class.
- Self and peer assessment can be used to provide formative feedback. This will help to simultaneously manage teaching team workload and provide valuable feedback. Participation in peer assessment can be voluntary and organised online through Blackboard.
- Discussing and applying assessment criteria together with the teaching team increases consistency.
- Making assessment as realistic (e.g. professionally relevant) as possible helps students engage with the assignment.
Assessment design needs to take into consideration not only the learning benefits, but also the management, marking, and feedback investment required.
Assessments like long essays may result in an unacceptable marking workload and inconsistency in the marking process.
Students in large classes may benefit more from frequent formal feedback opportunities as informal feedback is less available due to large numbers in each session.
- Introduce small tasks marked in tutorials. These will give students direct and immediate feedback on their progress with manageable workload. One approach is using multiple-choice questions. These can be first completed individually and then as a team using scratchable forms is one approach.
- Using class time for students to participate in peer feedback on draft assignments or reading summaries can increase preparation and feedback as well as create a sense of community among students.