QUT ePrints

Harnessing assessment and feedback in the first year to support learning success, engagement and retention

Kift, Sally M. & Moody, Kim E. (2009) Harnessing assessment and feedback in the first year to support learning success, engagement and retention. In ATN Assessment Conference 2009 Proceedings, RMIT University, Melbourne.

View at publisher

Abstract

It has been argued that intentional first year curriculum design has a critical role to play in enhancing first year student engagement, success and retention (Kift, 2008). A fundamental first year curriculum objective should be to assist students to make the successful transition to assessment in higher education. Scott (2006) has identified that ‘relevant, consistent and integrated assessment … [with] prompt and constructive feedback’ are particularly relevant to student retention generally; while Nicol (2007) suggests that ‘lack of clarity regarding expectations in the first year, low levels of teacher feedback and poor motivation’ are key issues in the first year. At the very minimum, if we expect first year students to become independent and self-managing learners, they need to be supported in their early development and acquisition of tertiary assessment literacies (Orrell, 2005). Critical to this attainment is the necessity to alleviate early anxieties around assessment information, instructions, guidance, and performance. This includes, for example:  inducting students thoroughly into the academic languages and assessment genres they will encounter as the vehicles for evidencing learning success; and  making expectations about the quality of this evidence clear.

Most importantly, students should receive regular formative feedback of their work early in their program of study to aid their learning and to provide information to both students and teachers on progress and achievement. Leveraging research conducted under an ALTC Senior Fellowship that has sought to articulate a research-based 'transition pedagogy' (Kift & Nelson, 2005) – a guiding philosophy for intentional first year curriculum design and support that carefully scaffolds and mediates the first year learning experience for contemporary heterogeneous cohorts – this paper will discuss theoretical and practical strategies and examples that should be of assistance in implementing good assessment and feedback practices across a range of disciplines in the first year.

Impact and interest:

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

717 since deposited on 25 Nov 2009
136 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloadsdisplays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 28849
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: first year experience, transition pedagogy, assessment and feedback, assessment for learning, first year curriculum design, HERN
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy not elsewhere classified (130299)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development (130202)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors].
Deposited On: 25 Nov 2009 12:19
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2010 00:11

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page