chapter  7
Assessment methods and teaching strategy
Pages 14

If the map of module development (which is repeated as Figure 7.1) were to be followed in a clinical manner, the chapters on assessment method and teaching strategy would be separated. The chapter on assessment methods would provide a list of methods that would enable the setting of assessment criteria that would, in turn, allow judgement of whether learning outcomes had been attained. On the basis that assessment criteria have also been discussed as a means of establishing a grading system, we would also consider aspects of assessment methods that allow a judgement of how well the learning has occurred above the minimum. The chapter on teaching strategy would consider how best to teach and manage student learning so that the learning outcomes and requirements for grades could be achieved. In practice, however, the choice of assessment method is determined by teaching issues as well as the bare essentials of assessment. For example, it is often the assessment procedure (criteria and method used) that will drive the student’s learning. In addition teaching strategies are usually concerned with the broader development of learning than that specified only in module learning outcomes. This might be stated in terms of the development of the whole person, or in terms of development of the student within the discipline. There are many techniques in pedagogical situations that exist for the dual purposes of improving learning and enabling the process of assessment to occur. For example, an essay may be a means of testing assessment criteria, but it is also a powerful means of encouraging students to broaden their knowledge and understanding, to validate existing ideas and to explore in and around a particular topic. To consider assessment separately with concerns only for the stated learning outcomes is simply too clinical a view of higher education as it

is in practice. Taking this more general stance is, in effect, a recognition that the learning on a programme is more than the sum of the statements of anticipated learning outcome. It is not, however, to suggest that the statement and assessment of learning outcomes is without value in its own right as a process to underpin standards.