From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference
Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh
Student and supervisor interpretation of generic criteria for specific engineering projects
Abstract This paper offers an account of a pilot investigation into students’ and supervisors’ understanding and interpretation of university-wide guidelines and criteria for theses in engineering education. The university-wide criteria present both a means and a challenge for enhancing thesis quality. The expected standard is indicated but the challenge lies in the difficulty to interpret criteria relative to specific student projects. Consequently, there is a risk that despite articulating guidelines and criteria, the quality of theses does not improve since the discipline’s standards are insufficiently articulated by supervisors and poorly internalised by students. We suggest that revised supervision processes promoting student ownership and their informed engagement in criterion-based self- and peer-assessment might offer ways of promoting disciplinary discursive expertise for internalising standards by addressing the difficulty of understanding assessment criteria.
Keywords: Engineering education; Criteria-based rubric-articulated assessment; Rubrics
One core principle of ICL is that discursive practices are discipline-specific. When we embark on ICL-informed interventions, our students ideally benefit from this increased focus on disciplinary discourse. Yet, discipline-specific assessment remains a challenge in view current assessment practice. Increasingly, assessment procedures evolve towards assessment for learning rather than of learning (Hounsell, McCune, Hounsell, & Litjens, 2008; D. Nicol, 2010; O’Donovan, Price, & Rust, 2008; Rust, Price, Donovan, & Brookes, 2003). A significant part of that move towards improved assessment for learning is criteria-based assessment. Such assessment is often communicated by means of “a document that articulates the expectations for an assignment by...
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