Case Study 10: Achieving a balance between the scholarly and the 'real world components of assessment
A Case Study from the University sector. Part of the Enhancing the Effectiveness of Tertiary Teaching and Learning through Assessment project.
The University Sector
Name: Associate Professor David Swain
Organisation: The University of Waikato
Researcher: Jill Musgrave
'While I don't particularly feel enthusiasm for the idea that we're a machine to deliver to employers, I think that it's important that the scholars that we produce do have a capacity to take the skills and insights that we've provided and apply them independently and thoughtfully in their paid employment and in their community activities.'
A university lecturer, who is passionate about teaching and making a difference to students' lives, strives to achieve a balance between the scholarly and the 'real world' components of assessment. He does this through the use of authentic assessment tasks and a choice of assessment modes.
Authentic assessment tasks include Asking and Answering Parliamentary Questions, Seminar Presentations, Letters to the Editor, Position Descriptions, Research Grant Applications, Media Releases and Ministerial Briefings. For each of these applied tasks, students are required to complete 'the fundamentals of scholarship such as acknowledgement, referencing and analysis'. The two different assessment modes consist of an applied mode, which has employment related tasks, and a more scholarly mode, which has more traditional academic tasks.
Students describe the assessments as 'useful and thought provoking'.