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Are we over-assessing our students? The students' view

Jonkman, Mirjam E., De Boer, Friso G. and Jagielski, Jenifer A. (2006). Are we over-assessing our students? The students' view. In: 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, Auckland, New Zealand, 10-13 December 2006.

Document type: Conference Paper
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IRMA ID 77514990xPUB2
Author Jonkman, Mirjam E.
De Boer, Friso G.
Jagielski, Jenifer A.
Title Are we over-assessing our students? The students' view
Conference Name 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Conference Location Auckland, New Zealand
Conference Dates 10-13 December 2006
Conference Publication Title Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Place of Publication Auckland, New Zealand
Publisher School of Engineering, Auckland University of Technology
Publication Year 2006
ISBN 9780473118815   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 829
End Page 835
Total Pages 7
HERDC Category E1 - Conference Publication (DEST)
Abstract In order to maximise the validity of assessment, it is suggested to adopt a variety of methods, including group projects, oral presentations, lab work and exams. However, using a variety of assessments for each subject can lead to an excessive workload for both students and staff. This can have significant negative learning effects. At Charles Darwin University, a number of lecturers have expressed concern that in an effort to vary assessment methods, students are actually being over-assessed. Although subject evaluations contain questions about the workload of individual subjects, no data existed about the perceived overall workload. The authors therefore conducted a systematic investigation of perceived student workload and actual student assessment preferences. This investigation consisted of a survey, followed by undergraduate and postgraduate focus group discussions. A number of unexpected finding emerged. Most students think the workload is high and the need to complete assessment items for another subject is the most common cause of absence in class. The perceived workload, however, is not correlated to the number of hours students claim to spend on their studies. A remarkable finding is the negative correlation between the number of assessment items students say they need to work for outside formal contact hours and total number of hours they claim to be studying each week (-0.25). In other words, students who claim to have more items of assessment actually study less. The same holds for the perceived difficulty. Students who perceive the study as most difficult study less than the students who think the study is easier. The results indicate significant differences between undergraduate and postgraduate perceptions. The large majority of undergraduate students think that assessment items like tutorials and assignments help prepare them for the exam. Their ideal breakdown of assessment is very similar to the current practice. Postgraduate students feel they are being over assessed and that they would be better prepared for their exams if they had fewer assessment items. Remarkably though, their preferred breakdown of assessment is not very different from the current practice at CDU.
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2008, 08:35:25 CST by Administrator