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Unfit for purpose? Rethinking the language of assessment for Widening Participation students

Butcher, John; McPherson, Elaine; Shelton, Isobel; Clarke, Anactoria; Hills, Laura and Hughes, Jonathan (2017). Unfit for purpose? Rethinking the language of assessment for Widening Participation students. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 19(2) pp. 27–46.

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DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.5456/WPLL.19.2.27
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Abstract

This article explores learning from a scholarship project which sought to identify principles of best inclusive practice in the language of assessment. Our focus was on an Access Programme, aimed at preparing entry-level learners to succeed in HE. Drawing on assessment principles of fairness and equity (QAA, 2012), the project challenged the 'assimilation' required by non-traditional learners in current assessment practices (Hockings 2010, Williams et al, 2014). An iterative mixed methods approach was conducted to elicit student and tutor perceptions and analyse existing documentation. Findings highlighted important pragmatic and conceptual issues around the language of assessment. In practical terms our Programme Assessment Guides are being redesigned and re-written for greater clarity. More fundamentally, we argue the opportunity to re-think the purpose of assessment on Access to embed more inclusive language could offer the sector a holistic approach to retaining students from groups under-represented in HE, and supporting their success.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 2045-2713
Keywords: Access; assessment; barriers to HE success; entry level HE; inclusive language; widening participation
Academic Unit/School: Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI) > Institute of Educational Technology (IET)
Learning Teaching and Innovation (LTI)
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Other Departments > Centre for Inclusion and Collaborative Partnerships (CICP)
Other Departments
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Education Futures
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 49605
Depositing User: John Butcher
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2017 10:43
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 13:04
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/49605
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