Good Assessment Practices in Higher Education – Baze University, Abuja , Nigeria

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Good Assessment Practices in Higher Education – Baze University, Abuja , Nigeria

The dawn of the twenty-first century is being recognized as a knowledge era, of which higher education plays a crucial role. For a country to succeed economically, culturally, and politically, it must have a strong postsecondary sector[1]. This has called for a tremendous increase in demand for higher education. In countries where a decade ago 10,000 students attended higher education institutions, that figure has grown many times over to become hundreds of thousands. This has led to the raising of concerns regarding the quality of education measured by teaching and learning outcomes.

In such a globalized and competitive world, students need to know not only the basic reading and arithmetic skills, but also lifelong skills that will allow them to face a world that is continually changing. They must be able to think critically, to analyze, and to make inferences. This has made assessment an integral part of teaching and learning. Teachers’ instructional and classroom assessment practices have become a means by which the education system is enhanced and defined[2].

 

Assessment of students’ learning is very critical because effective teaching decisions are based on the ability of teachers to understand their students and to match actions with accurate assessments. However, past research has shown that there are many problems associated with teachers’ classroom assessment practices.

These include but not limited to teachers’ lack of an adequate knowledge base regarding the basic testing and measurement concepts[3], and failure of teachers to employ and adhere to measurement guidelines they learned in measurement courses4.

 

An important consideration when designing a learning experience, course, or programme is to ensure assessments and instructional strategies are aligned with the intended learning outcomes. Creating an aligned design focuses instructional strategies on development of knowledge, skills, and values while providing formative feedback and preparing learners for formal assessment.

In Higher Education Institutions, assessments are indispensable part of the teaching and learning process. It is considered a key component for effective teaching and learning, as it determines whether or not the goals of education are being met. It again enables teachers to amass relevant educational information about students’ progress as well as the extent to which methods of instruction used are helping students to achieve the intended learning outcome. It also affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement, instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding.

Assessment goes beyond the mere rating of academic tasks either qualitatively or quantitatively. Its boundary stretches beyond using it as a gauge to determine whether learning objectives are achieved or met. It simply drives and guides the entire teaching and learning process.

It also inspires us (lecturers) to evaluate ourselves by asking these hard questions: “Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?” “Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?” “Is there a way to teach the subject better, thereby promoting better learning?” “Are our assessments linked with approaches vis a vis objective?” It helps us to frequently evaluate our approach to teaching and learning which results in improvement.

In order to enhance teaching and learning in our higher institutions, the Association of African Universities (AAU) is offering a four-day training workshop titled Good Assessment Practices in Higher Education: Aligning Outcome, Instruction and Assessment that seeks to equip teaching staff with the basic knowledge and skills in assessment to help improve teaching and learning.

The AAU believes that revitalizing the teaching profession by equipping teachers with assessment skills and knowledge will contribute to quality higher education in Africa.

 

2. OBJECTIVES

The aim of this workshop is to equip teaching staff in higher education with the requisite skills and knowledge they need in students’ assessment, which will yield a significant improvement in teaching and learning.

The specific objectives of the workshop are to;

  • Introduce participants to the various forms of assessment, its limitations and strengths as well as how they impact on teaching and learning.
  • Expose participants to the various feedback systems and assessment practice when used efficiently will improve teaching and learning.
  • Expose participants to assessment practices that either deflate or inflate students’ test scores from reflecting their actual score on an academic task.

 

3.  EXPECTED OUTCOMES

It is expected that at the end of the workshop:

  • Participants will be equipped with the basic assessment knowledge and skills that will make them effective and efficient in their teaching assignments.
  • Participants will also acquire knowledge on efficient and alternative ways of communicating assessment feedbacks to various stakeholders (parents, students, school administrators, educationists and employers).

 

4.   WORKSHOP MODULES

The workshop modules will include the following:

  • Aligning assessments with teaching approaches and outcomes
  • Test format
  • Test construction
  • Test administration
  • Test score analysis
  • Grading Practices
  • Feedback Systems

 

 

5. TARGET AUDIENCE

This workshop is meant for all staff of higher education institutions connected with students’ assessments including Professors, Associate Professors, Quality Assurance Specialists, Senior Lecturers, Lecturers, Assistant Lecturers and Teaching Assistants.

6. ORGANIZATION OF WORKSHOP

Workshop content is covered through direct lectures, case studies, demonstrations, reading, listening, thinking, problem-solving, group discussion and video presentation. Active participation is expected. Every effort will be made to teach the workshop as a seminar with substantial participation from the class. Participants, therefore, should come to class prepared to ask questions, contribute ideas, and share experiences.

  1. DATE AND VENUE

The workshop will take place on:  31st March – 3rd April 2020 at Baze University, Abuja, Nigeria

  1. WORKSHOP LANGUAGE

The working language of the workshop is English.

9.                    WORKSHOP ORGANISING COMMITTEE

 

Name Institution E-mail address
Mrs. Bunmi Odufala Association of African

Universities

rbodufala@aau.org
Ms. Joan Akua Iyoha Association of African

Universities

jaiyoha@aau.org
Ms. Nodumo Ndhlamini Association of African

Universities

ndhlamini@aau.org

 

10.                REGISTRATION

Participants are required to register for this workshop via the link below:

https://event-mgt.aau.org/e/GAP3

Registration fee is USD 400 for international participants and N130,000 for local participants. The registration fee covers the seminar documents, lunch and tea/coffee breaks as well as a copy of workshop materials and other packages. Participants will cover the costs of their travel, accommodation and upkeep.

[1] Teferra, D., & Altbach, P. G. (2004). African higher education: Challenges for the 21st century. Higher Education 47(1), 21-50

[2] McMillan, J. M. (2008). Assessment essentials for student-based education (2nd ed.).Thousand Oaks: Crown Press

[3] Stiggins, R. J. (2001). The unfulfilled promise of classroom assessment. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 20, 5-15 4Campbell, C., & Evans, J. A. (2000). Investigation of preservice teachers’ classroom assessment practices during student teaching. Journal of Educational Research, 96, 350-355.

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