Assessment as an equity issue in higher education: comparing the perceptions of first year students, course coordinators, and academic leaders

Goos, Merrilyn; Gannaway, Deanne; Hughes, Clair
April 2011
Australian Educational Researcher (Australian Association for Re;Apr2011, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p95
Academic Journal
essment practices that aim to promote both quality and equity may be compromised in a higher education market where students are consumers and grades the currency exchanged for measures of success. In such a climate, academics report feeling pressured to make course content and assessment less challenging in order to obtain positive student evaluations, and they may lose faith in university quality assurance processes that seem focused on ensuring student satisfaction with education as a product. To explore these issues from the perspectives of the main stakeholders in assessment, this paper investigates assessment perceptions of students, course coordinators, and faculty Associate Deans responsible for teaching and learning at The University of Queensland. The findings highlight differences in what these groups consider to be important assessment issues and differences in how they should be addressed. First year students are identified as a disadvantaged group due to perceptions of the role of feedback and formative assessment that may be influenced by their secondary school assessment experiences.


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