CTaLE Working Papers and projects related to Assessment. If interested, please get in touch with the respective academics of each project.

Developing Students’ Research, Writing and Collaborative Skills Using Wikis

Prof. Parama Chaudhury and Dr. Christian Spielmann

Collaborative activities are difficult to organise in large classes. To address this, Parama and Christian (now at Bristol) developed wiki projects in their class. This paper discusses the motivation for the project and its evaluation.

Innovative assessment and students collaboration in online classroom

Dr. Silvia Dal Bianco

This research focuses on the perception and impact of a non-standard assessment mix, from the perspective of students and staff. The assessment mix is composed as follows: 25% group-video project; 25% individual assessment on the same video topic and a 50% final exam. Silvia designed and introduced it in 2019/20 and her colleague, Dr. Amini from SSEES, adopted it during 2020/21. The latter year called for a lot of adaptability due to COVID. The experiences of both departments were evaluated at the end of the last year. In particular, both quantitative survey data collected through Moodle and qualitative data retrieved from focus groups were employed.  For what concerns students’ perception, analysis shows that, on the one hand, the aforementioned assessment mix proved to be highly resilient to the online environment but, on the other, it has been subject to new challenges, especially related to remote collaboration for the group-project. For what concerns lecturers’ perspective,  the assessment mix has been quite easy to organise and the video has offered the opportunity to help students developing important soft and organisational skills. The project has benefitted from UCL ChangeMakers funds and the final work was presented at the UCL Education Conference in April 2021.

Mixed Assessment Strategy for Inclusivity

Prof. Parama Chaudhury, Dr. Silvia Dal Bianco and Prof. Cloda Jenkins

Assessment strategies are a key dimension of an inclusive curriculum, with the QAA (2016) recommending strategies, such as the so-called “mixed assessment strategies’, to ensure “every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement”. Economics, as a discipline, traditionally assesses students through closed-book exams. In the UCL Economics Department we have gone through a period of significant transition with our assessment methods across modules for the past three years. At the UCL Education Conference we delivered a presentation on the relationship between assessment strategies and inclusivity.

Spotlight on Students

Dr. Ramin Nassehi

Most economic podcasts focus on doing interviews with star academics, but in this podcast, Ramin turns the spotlight on students and ask questions about the methods and approaches they use to learn economics and more importantly do economic research on their own. Pedagogically, the podcast aims to enhance “meta-cognition” among students, which means reflecting on their own method of learning economics and doing research. The idea is that by listening to a peer, students would think about best practices and reflect on their own approach of learning economics and conducting research.

Here Ramin interview Sam Asher- the winner of best paper our 2019 undergraduate conference (Explore Econ 2019)- about his research journey.

In this interview, Ramin focuses on his Economic History module (UG) and explores how students prepared themselves for the essay assessment in this module. For that, he speaks to three students who took this module in the 2019-2020 academic year: Hester, Xingdi and Pol.   This interview can also be useful for lecturers as an innovative method of getting feedback from students on their assessments.

Videos for Video-Assessment

Dr. Silvia Dal Bianco

This project has been inspired by Silvia’s students’ feedback. Recently, a 3-minute video assessment was introduced into Silvia’s Economics of the Public Sector module. Students’ feedback reflected both enthusiasm but also the need for more guidance on the technical side of video realization and editing. Hence, Silvia teamed up with Alexandre, an urbanist UCL Undergraduate student, to create 6 videos. Unlike tutorials found online, these videos are short, clear and go straight to the point. They have been especially tailored to the needs of students and will teach exactly what one needs to know in order to drastically improve the production quality of your videos without spending too much time on it. One of the said videos can be found through this link.