Improving work-based assessment and feedback to students
Many university courses include work-based learning where real-world experience and on-the-job skills can be gained. Courses which incorporate regulatory body requirements such as medicine, nursing and healthcare include substantial work-based learning where rigorous standards have to be met. It’s therefore crucial to ensure that students receive high-quality feedback and meaningful assessments when they are on placements. Liftupp, a cloud-based platform and App originally developed at the University of Liverpool, has been designed to support such work-based learning in a number of innovative ways.
Little and often
Liftupp supports longitudinal assessment and encourages mentors to give feedback to students as often as possible. Rather than relying on occasional spot tests, Liftupp provides online forms, usually on iPads, for assessing daily, or in some cases weekly, practice. Only those skills and competencies which are observed are recorded by mentors and these records provide a clear picture of how a student is developing over time.
Tailored and constructive
Students are encouraged to see the feedback as developmental and mentors are encouraged to provide advice and suggestions for improvement. Students can log in to the Liftupp portal to see exactly how they are developing and make a note of the skills they need to focus on. Course leaders can also review the real-time results, whether for one student or a whole year-group. This is particularly useful when large numbers of students are dispersed across a number of locations.
The Liftupp platform provides tools for mapping work-based learning to the curriculum and also to regulatory body requirements so nothing is left to chance. Work-based assessments are carefully designed to assist with progress decisions and regulatory bodies themselves can review courses at the touch of a button.
Linked to learning
Providing regular, structured and constructive feedback helps to frame work-based assessment as part of the learning process rather than as a series of tests. This approach can help ease the stress associated with tests and it helps students to focus on what they are learning.
Reporting and research
Liftupp provides tools for thorough analyses of work-based assessment data which enables students to review their own work and which helps staff to plan interventions and support. As the data sets collected become ever greater – Liftupp is used in a dozen Higher Education Institutions across the UK – they open up opportunities for a wide-range of collaborative research on teaching, learning and assessment.
Article written by Lucy Haire from Liftupp
To find out more and get involved, go to liftupp.com.