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MTU received funding from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education under its allocation of the Strategic Alignment of Teaching and Learning Enhancement Funding in Higher Education (SATLE) 2022/23. Building on the successful SATLE 2020 RAFT (Reimagining Assessment & Feedback Together) project, MTU adopted a similar approach to enhance the feedback and assessment experience for both staff and students at MTU with a particular focus on Academic Integrity.

Academic staff were invited to apply to engage in the project in one of two distinct ways, i.e.:

  • Individual Assessment & Feedback Action Research Projects 

or

  • Programme Team Projects which take a Whole-of-Curriculum approach to Assessment & Feedback

The programme consisted of two phases. Phase 1 commenced in Semester 2 of 2022/23 and following successful completion of Phase 1, participants were invited to continue into Phase 2, commencing in Semester 1 of 2023/24. Successful applicants had their assigned teaching load reduced by 1 hour per week for Semester 2 of 2022/23 with the approval of the relevant Head of Department/Function. During this period, participants were expected to participate in an online session on Mondays at 14.00-15.00 (1 hour per week) and undertake their own preparation/reflection throughout the programme (1 hour per week).

Current RAFT projects

There are currently 17 projects ongoing as part of RAFT. These are centred around several thematic areas including rubrics, peer review/feedback, oral assessment, plagiarism, feedback literacy and authentic assessment. An overview of all projects is provided below:

Theme

Staff

Department

Project aim(s)

Rubrics

Agnes Sheehy

Nursing and Healthcare Sciences

Explore students’ views on the use and value of rubrics in assessment

Dr Alison O’Shea

Computer Science

Allow more experienced students engage with assignments/rubrics at a deeper level and give less experienced students more confidence in approaching assignments and in engaging with material.

Thomas Broderick,

Dr Con Burns,

Eimear Foley

Sports, Leisure and Childhood Studies (MTU Cork),

Health and Leisure Studies (MTU Kerry)

The Development, Implementation & Evaluation of Assessment Rubrics for Modules in Sport, Fitness, Coaching & Physical Education

Catherine Murphy, Denise McSweeney

Accounting and Information Systems

Developing Students' Evaluative Judgement Skills for the Placement Application Process.

Clive Atkinson

Process Engineering and Transport Engineering

Develop a detailed rubric to helps students appreciate better the awarding of marks.

Collette Nolan,

Bill O’Flynn

Fine Art -CCAD

Design authentic feedback and assessment forms (with accessible language) for art programmes.

Bernie Lenihan

Social Sciences

Develop clear rubrics and provide formative feedback to students.

Una Moynihan

Health and Leisure Studies

Ascertain the reasons for lack of learning from rubric feedback and make changes to practice

Peer review/

Peer feedback

Sharon Lehane

Management and Enterprise

How does Peer Feedback Impact Academic Performance.

Dr Alex Vakaloudis

Computer Science

Apply active learning to engage and activate students in their efforts towards Work Placements.

Mary Leonard

Social Sciences

An exploration of collaborative essay-writing as a mechanism for supporting skills development and enhancing feedback effectiveness in larger classes.

 

Catherine Frehill

Physical Sciences

Enhance students’ confidence in their skills and learning in the laboratory.

Feedback

Brigid Walsh, Grainne Daly,

Ruth Farrell

Tourism and Hospitality

Improve feedback literacy among students and opportunities for feedforward.

Authentic assessment

Mary Cooney, Graham Gill Emerson

Applied Social Studies

Identify how to develop/enhance reflective writing/journals as authentic assessment and feedback.

Plagiarism

Oliver Gough

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Better students’ understanding of academic integrity.

Oral assessment

Dr Svetlana Slepneva

Physical Sciences

Increase the effectiveness of lab-based assessment by introducing oral assessment.

Amy Prendergast

Pop, Jazz, Trad, Voice and Theatre

Explore alternatives to written assessments, incorporate ‘feed-forward’, self-assessment and peer feedback and clarify rubrics.

What is meant by Individual Assessment & Feedback Action Research Projects?

These projects involved staff from across disciplines and campuses working together during Phase 1, with a range of external inputs, to identify how the assessment and/or feedback practices of a module (or element thereof) could be enhanced to better support academic integrity. It is expected that participants will engage with students to inform their work.

Cross-disciplinary teams were formed around common thematic areas allowing for a collaborative approach to exploring theory and sharing ideas and practice. Throughout this process, staff engaged with students-as-partners so that both parties gain an empathetic view of the challenges associated with transforming feedback and assessment practice and understanding issues of academic integrity from a student perspective.

In Phase 1, participants attended a weekly timetabled workshop to help them identify the assessment and feedback practice to enhance and explore potential solutions. By the end of the semester, they had developed a plan to implement their chosen solution to the problem they identified.

Following successful completion of Phase 1, an action research approach are currently underway to implement and evaluate the planned chosen solution. Each individual lecturer will implement their planned solution in their own teaching context. Contact with the coordinating team will continue to provide accountability, partnership, support, ideas, and encouragement.

Staff will evaluate their intervention with input from students and will be supported to disseminate findings across MTU, the HE sector nationally and internationally.

What is meant by Programme Team Projects Taking a Whole-of-Curriculum Approach to Assessment & Feedback/Academic Integrity?

These projects involved teams of up to 4 staff, ideally representing each year of a specific programme, who considered how enhancements to assessment and feedback practices across the programme in question can enhance student and staff understanding of academic integrity.

In Phase 1 (Semester 2, 2022/23), these teams also participated in the weekly workshops, but their focus was on identifying how assessment and feedback literacy can be enhanced to support a proactive approach to their identified academic integrity challenges.

By the end of Phase 1, these project teams had created a framework of how some of these challenges could be addressed, communicated, and managed with student input a key part of this process so that teams understand the users’ perspective.

In Phase 2 (Semester 1, 2023/24), the teams are focussing on implementing the framework to their programme, taking advantage of the start of the new academic year.

Staff will evaluate their intervention with input from students and will be supported to disseminate findings across MTU, the HE sector nationally and internationally.

Where can I get further information?

If you would like further information about this programme, please contact:

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