Assessment – pick and mix or sour grapes?

This interactive inclusive assessment workshop showcases De Montfort University’s (DMU) successful Universal Design for Learning (UDL) strategy. The themes of student co-creation and assessment choice will be explored with a focus on student health and well-being. The three practitioners are all DMU Teacher Fellows and have experience of delivering to a diverse range of undergraduates and all contribute regularly to professional development sessions.

DMU has embedded UDL into its teaching and learning strategy to ensure that students experience an individual learning experience with a tailored personalised teaching and support approach.

The three principles of UDL are focussed on:

  1.             Flexible ways of learning
  2.             Flexible study resources
  3.             Flexible ways of testing learning

Delegates will have the opportunity to experience two short ‘hands on’ teaching and learning activities in order to ascertain their learning styles and preferences. They will then have the opportunity to choose which type of fun formative assessment they would like to undertake to put their learning to the test. Some activities will be against the clock and some more relaxed. In fact there will even be the opportunity to experience the importance of meditation techniques to reduce exam pressures.

The activities have been developed in response to meeting the diverse needs of students but there will also be time to discuss the potential problems in designing flexible assessments. The presenters have experience in a range of subject disciplines but they excel in the development of inter-disciplinary collaborations, with two being members of DMU’s successful CrashEd team, winners of the Advance HE 2019 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence Spotlight awards.

Hints and tips on designing inclusive and alternative ‘pick and mix’ assessments, with students for students, will be shared and there will be the opportunity at the end of the session to discuss how to respond to the less pleasant ‘sour grapes’ side of assessment when there may be dissatisfaction.

This workshop will take you on a journey through PlayDo, Lego, puzzles and conundrums to remind us all that learning is fun, but more importantly if you choose an inspirational assessment then students can be fully engaged and even the marking can be uplifting!

Lead presenter:          Julia Reeve

Co-presenters:            Angela O’Sullivan

Leisa Nichols-Drew