Mary McGee Wood - Assessment and Feedback - Training and Consultancy


My workshops are typically full afternoon sessions for 8 - 12 people (small enough to keep the whole group together throughout), with lots of concrete examples and discussion. My aim is always to show you new questions: it is ultimately up to you to find the best answers for your teaching, your students, and your assessment and feedback (although I can help!)

Participants are encouraged to bring examples from their own relevant past experience - ideally, to send them to me in advance - so that each session can be tailored as closely as possible to the exact needs and situation af that group.

  • Assessment and feedback in syllabus design
  • Even thoughtful educators all too often leave assessment and feedback to the end of syllabus planning, almost as an afterthought. On the other hand, "teaching to the test" may be appropriate when the context and design of assessment make passing the test more important than understanding the material.

    We start from the wh- questions to explore how one's goals for assessment and feedback can inform good syllabus design, and support real learning and teaching. If you know where you want your students to be at the end, and where they are now, you stand a good chance of building a road that will get them from one to the other. Think of this workshop as an exercise in route planning.

  • Assessment design and question design
  • Significant factors in the design of assessments include their place in the formal learning process (diagnostic, formative, summative, re-validation); whether they are formal (typically time-limited and invigilated) or informal (typically untimed, at-home, open book); and the criticality and granularity of results.

    We use these as context to explore a range of question types (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, short / medium / long free text, diagrams) and how best to use and write them, with numerous examples. Some reference is made to e-assessment software packages, but all this material applies equally to conventional paper-based assessments.

  • e-Assessment
  • Virtual Learning Environments and a range of assessment software systems - from automatically marked multiple choice quiz tools to essay annotation software - are now fashionable and widely used; sometimes appropriately, sometimes minimally in response to a top-down institutional directive.

    We look at the options available - if possible in the context of your own present and future assessment and feedback strategy and practice. I do not promote any particular software: the aim is to explore what tools are available and when they are useful. The dominant question this time is "What if... ?"

  • What you will
  • That's three I prepared earlier, but they may not be exactly what you want. If it's in the general area of assessment and feedback in Higher Education or professional certification, ask me: I may well be able to cut my cloth to your pattern. I will want us to do some groundwork together in advance, so that what you get really fits.