Assessing the un-assessed, a case study exploring issues around employability and professional practice through active learning activities

Elliott, Samantha (2017) Assessing the un-assessed, a case study exploring issues around employability and professional practice through active learning activities. In: HEA Annual Conference 2017 - Generation TEF : Teaching in the spotlight; 04 - 06 Jul 2017, Manchester, U.K.. (Unpublished)


Due to increased student numbers and constraints on facilities and time (a compressed timetable to enable M.A provision in an already overused space) there has been a growing trend for students to engage with un-assessed work. Throughout FADA students are engaged with professional practice through putting on some kind of a show, this takes many forms, and occurs throughout the 3 levels of UG study. The project will engage the student team across FADA to look at what is being delivered un-assessed and whether this should be assessed, the focus will be a case study of the internal fashion show, now in its 4th year. This work builds on existing material and creates a library of reference, strengthening the body of research. The work references the theory set out by Etienne Wenger (Communities of Practice) “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” The fashion show is organised, designed and predominately fundraised by the students, facilitated by an associate professor. It is a good example of active learning and demonstrates many skills that lead to employability. Much of this data is qualitative and will be collected through discussion and research groups which will be documented by film . The majority of the work often falls to a set of elected, or self nominated students, this project will ask the students to document what they do, assess the skills that are needed, developed and demonstrated, along with logging time spent on this activities, providing quantitative data. A second arm of the research will be to interview students on other courses such as graphics, and illustration and PFD, to find what projects they work on that are un-assessed and gauge whether the work is comparative. This is timely as discussion within the sector is happening around employability and professional practice, with interest in the TEF, and the quality of teaching ad learning being delivered, related to value perceived by the students. There is a need for students to meet the needs of industry, this project will enable discussion around how students can best demonstrate and recognise these skills. It will address weather and how these skills can be best assessed. Input and feedback from students is valued and this project will ensure that the student voice is heard in relation to un-assessed projects.

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