On the EDGE of assessment
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The theme coincides with the partial launch of CityU’s assessment policy, which was approved by Senate in June of this year.
“We wanted to base our workshops around a common idea or theme, and the new assessment policy provides an appropriate context,” said Mr David Santandreu Calonge, Associate Director of the Office of Education and Development and General Education (EDGE).
Mr Santandreu is responsible for organising the workshops, identifying speakers, scheduling the talks and facilitating the workshops.
“This semester’s talks have covered a varied range of topics under the assessment theme,” said Mr Santandreu, a previous winner of the Teaching Excellence Award (TEA) and a Knight in the Order of the Academic Palms for his contributions to the spread of French language and culture around the world.
The talks have looked at different ways of assessing learning styles, attitudes and motivation; the use of teacher-to-student and student-to-teacher feedback, rankings of institutions, e-learning, teaching portfolios, benchmarking and course design and delivery for General Education courses.
“These sessions directly relate to the needs to teaching staff at CityU,” he said. There are four more workshops, all of which are currently held over lunchtime until the end of the semester.
“Our presenters are a diverse group, ranging from former TEA winners to invited speakers from overseas. The talks are very relevant to the development of the University,” Mr Santandreu said.
For example, one of the speakers, Dr Mina Eaves, who is based at Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand, gave a talk on assessing international students. “This was interesting because CityU intends to boost its international student numbers so it is important to familiarise ourselves with the kinds of issues connected with assessing this particular group,” said Mr Santandreu.
EDGE is now planning the new workshops for the next semester, Mr Santandreu said, as well as working on other areas of staff development and various policies related to teaching and learning at the University.
“We are devising an academic advisory policy, which will be used to help orient students when they first arrive at CityU, and a peer review policy that would provide the necessary support for teaching staff to observe each other’s classes. This philosophy blends with our overall desire to create a dialogue about teaching and learning, and create an atmosphere where people can ask questions and learn from each other. Our ultimate aim is to strengthen the teaching and learning environment of the University and facilitate development of the General Education programme,” he said.
The CityU assessment policy, to be implemented fully in 2011-2012, sets out the University’s approach to assessment and defines the actions and responsibilities of staff. The policy states that assessment is the crucial link between effective delivery of courses, student learning and development and the assurance of educational standards.
For more information on the EDGE workshops, visit www.cityu.edu.hk/edge.