Improving the Quality of Assessment Seminar – London

Front below centre above: John O’Toole, CEO of CMI attends the Assessors quality seminar in the University of Sunderland, London – October 2015.

Assessment and the quality of assessment is a key cornerstone of the quality of any course. Very often the choice and quality of assessment can vary from college to college but it is hugely important for learners to enjoy their course and the type of assessment offered for any course can determine the success of any student.

In October, the University of Sunderland London in cooperation with ATHE held an ‘improving the quality of assessment seminar’.  In the seminar areas such as forms of assessment, marking assessments, command words, levels were comprehensively covered,

According to John O’Toole, CEO of CMI, ‘We are finding that some learners definitely prefer the assignment/ research based form of assessment. Feedback based on a survey of our learners in 2015 confirms students do enjoy doing home assignments and independent research as part of their course.”

As a consequence of that, CMI is moving away from exam based assessment for many of their courses, but not all of them, particularly those at level 7 & 8. Not so much at QQI level 5 & 6 where exams were not a feature anyway. The process of research and distilling it into a paper/assignment or project is a skill that can be acquired and passed on by the learner to Masters and PhD level, so it has many advantages.”

The Communications & Management Institute is finding the move from exams to assignments/research across many of their courses, is welcomed and appealing for many of their adult learners. Students appear to want to avoid the ‘cramming exam approach’, to a more planned sustained way of learning and taking ownership of study through home assignments.

This quality in assessment seminar was an important training event and is something that will be replicated and delivered in Dublin to CMI’s current cohort of lecturers in 2016.