Wednesday, 16 February 2011

open access university courses

Universities in Australia, Canada and New Zealand are hoping to achieve "a quantum shift" in open educational resources (OERs) by launching an "OER university".

A group of universities plans to draw together existing free online learning materials from around the world and develop new OERs to create whole degree programmes that can be studied via the internet for free.

The project will focus on how to offer students using OERs the opportunity to earn academic credit and have their work assessed at a significantly reduced cost.

It is hoped that these degrees could cost up to 90 per cent less than a traditional qualification gained through on-campus study.

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Reconceptualising assessment feedback: a key to improving student learning?

Beaumont, C., O’Doherty, M. & Shannon, L. (2011). Reconceptualising assessment feedback: a key to improving student learning?. Studies in Higher Education, doi:10.1080/03075071003731135

This article reports the findings of research into the student experience of assessment in school/college and higher education, and the impact of transition upon student perceptions of feedback quality. It involved a qualitative study of 23 staff and 145 students in six schools/colleges and three English universities across three disciplines. Results show that students experience a radically different culture of feedback in schools/colleges and higher education, with the former providing extensive formative feedback and guidance, while the latter focuses upon independent learning judged summatively. Students perceived quality feedback as part of a dialogic guidance process rather than a summative event. A model is proposed, the Dialogic Feedback Cycle, to describe student experiences at school/college, and suggestions are made as to how it can be used as a tool to scaffold the development of independent learning throughout the first year of university study.