Educators note students displaying increasingly instrumental approaches to learning (Howorth, 2001; Ottewill, 2003), particularly when considering assessment, which Baume (2004:7) suggests ‘can and often does drive learning’. This paper argues that academics must take as much responsibility for this level of instrumentality as our students. What we choose to assess, and how we choose to assess it shows what academics value. This, in turn, can lead to some students valuing only what we assess. This paper therefore seeks to consider how Business Schools can better encourage new lecturers to learn to value what we assess and to assess what we value. This paper is informed by results of a BMAF project on support for the development of new academic staff in business related disciplines. For this project the University of Glamorgan was paired with the University of Southampton Solent for data collection purposes. Qualitative data on Glamorgan Business School (GBS) was collected via in-depth semistructured interviews by a colleague from Southampton Solent University. The paper presents some reflections on the findings for GBS relating to how new lecturers can be encouraged to understand best practice in learning and assessment. The university has set out an assessment strategy and assessment tariff, and is participating in the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Change Academy project aimed to put assessment at the heart of learning. Similar to many other HEIs, the University of Glamorgan is articulating the attributes of the Glamorgan Graduate, and has also articulated the attributes required of various staff groups. Similar to projects defining graduate attributes at an institutional level, these staff attributes are also necessarily generic. However, new lecturers in business related disciplines may need additional development and support, particularly in understanding assessment and feedback. This could be attributed to the high number of permanent staff in Business Schools that are drawn from those who have previously been employed as part-time associate lecturers due to their knowledge and skills and practitioners in specific business disciplines. Given the instrumental focus on assessment displayed by at least some students in business related disciplines, this paper proposes that academics must take as much responsibility for this level of instrumentality as our students. If we are to address and change this level of instrumentality it becomes incumbent on all teaching staff to understand that what we choose to assess, and how we choose to assess it sends a clear message to our students about what we value. However, learning, teaching and assessment issues are often not covered as part of a new staff member induction, which is often generic to all staff and managed at an institutional level. Business Schools must understand the role they must play in designing such support and development programmes, and ensuring that what is designed is actually delivered, every time, for every member of the academic staff, at whatever point in the term they commence employment, and that such support and development is always offered from day one, in order to minimise the gap between policy and practice.
|Published - 20 Apr 2010
| ‘Assessment and Assessment Standards: Challenges for Business Education’, Proceedings of the Business Management Accountancy and Finance (BMAF) Conference - Newcastle
Duration: 20 Apr 2010 → 21 Apr 2010
|‘Assessment and Assessment Standards: Challenges for Business Education’, Proceedings of the Business Management Accountancy and Finance (BMAF) Conference
|20/04/10 → 21/04/10
- staff development
- graduate attributes