Difference, Diversity and Divergence

By: Berni Murphy  

New models for education should push the boundaries of typical and parochial practices. World readiness supersedes work readiness. Rather than ‘teaching to the test’, educators need to re-calibrate and focus on fostering radical and alternative approaches to assessment that empower students around learning how to learn and being able to judge the quality of their own work. Standard feedback practices tend to be limiting and problematic as well. Without involvement in the evaluation process, students submit their work and wait for a grade that might or might not have any personal resonance or meaning. Evidence suggests feedback comments are either adopted or rejected depending on whether the student agrees with the marker or not. How might this pattern change? How might assessment tasks address the diverse needs of multicultural cohorts with values different to our own, and how can the process respect these differences? How can formative and summative assessments become more personal and meaningful in tertiary education across cultures? This session will discuss lessons learned from a study implementing a non-standard assessment, in the form of self-assessment, among a mixed cohort of domestic and international postgraduate University students. Multiple positive and encouraging outcomes from this project will be examined, such as the way developing a student’s capacity to judge their own performance has lasting benefits. This initiative will also hopefully contribute to forming an international community of practice that promotes ways for making feedback more meaningful and help facilitate a transition from surface to deep learning in the process.

Assessment evaluation
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Berni Murphy

Course Director MPH, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University

Berni is the Course Director of the Master of Public Health at Deakin University Melbourne Australia, which is ranked in the top 100 univeristies in the world for public health. Berni lectures in the post graduate public health and health promotion courses in the School of Health and Social Development. Berni’s research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly focused on authentic assessment, reflective practice and student engagement. Health workforce development strategies and measurements of effectiveness are also of interest. Berni was the recipient of three prestigious teaching and learning awards in 2010 including Deakin University’s Teacher of the Year and received a national award for teaching excellence in 2011.