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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Assessment 2: Prepare a new or revised assessment strategy

I have modified the assessment strategy for the course I evaluated in assessment one, (see earlier blog Link to existing assessment ) which is the packages assessment for the Certificate in Travel and Tourism.

This new assessment has been designed to allow the student to work through and research a set of questions about hotel packages from different advertising sources/media.  They are then required to pick two hotel packages and describe them, giving reasons why the package may have been created. The assessment tools used are in the form of a word processed document and a speech.  Two marking sheets have been designed, a formative peer evaluation and a summative sheet for their word processed work(assessment methods).
The students have three presentations to do over a 6 month period.  These speeches can be a nerve racking experience for the students, so in order to make the process less daunting I focus on a particular aspect of the presentation for the first two assessments before the final one.  Effectively stair-casing the students learning and development.  By doing this I can ensure that the feedback is related to the learning goals and I focus on the task not the individual.

  • Presentation 1 - Unusual hotels.  The focus is on the content of the speech (July)
  • Presentation 2 - Hotel packages. The focus is on their ability to sell the package (August)
  • Presentation 3 - Personal presentation induction speech to new receptionists.  The focus is on the whole thing, uniforms worn. (November)
The assessments have been designed to form a staircase of integrated learning, linking and building on the last one, so that by the end of the year, the students are applying and analysing " breaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationships" Bloom's Revised Taxonomy,(2001).
This obviously happens at different stages for different students and some may stay at certain stages while others are forging ahead, by breaking the assessments down into smaller components this will cater to all learning abilities. 
By outlining the assessment structure at the beginning of the paper, the students are able to see 'where am I going?(what are the goals?) (Hattie&Timperley,2007).  This structure helps the student focus on a particular aspect of the presentations by directing the feedback to these areas and withholding feedback, "to allow students to internalise and process the demands of the task". (Hattie&Timperley,2007).  In this way there is a 'feed-forward' process happening that focus's the student on future learning, the "where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?).  The idea is to "prompt some degree of self reflection and will demonstrate appropriate ways of enhancing the performance on the task, and offer strategies that invite more learner responsibility to improve." (Spiller, 2009). 

I felt the original assessment did not align with the learning outcomes and the format was wordy and confusing.  I also wanted to produce a feedback form to be used during the students speeches, one that could be used by both the lecturer and the audience.  In this way a fair and reliable form of formative assessment would be made and the other students would be involved in the process, further developing their observation skills and their understanding of the requirements of the assessment.
The students receiving the feedback should have time to process and reflect on their presentation and get a sense of  'how am I going?"(what progress is being made towards the goal?), Hattie and Timperley(2007, as cited in Spiller, 2009).
"Learning can be deepened if the feedback additionally prompts some degree of self reflection and management". (Spiller, 2009).

The new assessment has been re-designed with 'chunks' of information to help the students draw on their own experiences to formulate some ideas about how they will approach the assessment.
The 'I' part of the ICE Model, Fostaty&Wilson 2000. The assessment is designed to start them gathering information (ideas) allowing recall and repetition (similar information from different sources i.e. newspaper, magazines, radio, t.v.) where they can develop 'discrete skills' (question one of the assessment).  The idea is for them to use these skills as stepping stones in their learning to formulate links of comprehension to the next question.

By using this narrative form of assessment the student can start to make 'connections' from the clues in the text to information they already know, maybe from modules learnt in the previous semester.  This is the 'c' part of the ICE Model.
The 'Extension' component of this phase would be the process of the student 'doing' the assignment, giving the speech and participating in the feedback process of their own work and others in the group.  This would be the "how am I going?"  (what progress is being made towards this goal?) part of Hattie and Timperley(2007) cognitive process that would lead to the student starting to self -regulate their learning.

The marking criteria has been modified as well.  I have decided to make this very basic as there is the feedback form that will be used to help form the final result.  As this is part of an integrated assessment the marks are passed/not passed, so the peer feedback form will be used as a formative evaluation sheet, designed to focus the students and help them critique/observe another persons work.  It will also assist me in providing evidence and making an informed decision.
(This has been revised on 29/11)

The important part of the marking criteria will be the written feedback that is provided.

The feedback form has been modified from an internet and colleague's example and will formalize the speech process, where the 'audience' will be actively evaluating the speaker.  This can be a stressful experience but it is a necessary part of the Industry and is also used as a learning experience for the whole class.  This will build on from a previous assessment where the students are being evaluated just on the content.  In this assessment the students are being evaluated on their ability to sell as well as the quality of the content.
(This has been revised on 29/11)

I investigated the use of rubriks for the feedback form but decided that the form would be more useful as a formative tool, to inform and link the learning, rather than a process of grading the student and their work.

The additional instructions and success criteria, have been added to give the students a starting point for this assessment.  I have linked the additional instructions to each question so they can refer to this to give them more clarity when attempting the assessment.

Once the assessment has been completed the students can use the self/peer assessment sheet to tick off their or others work to ensure they have completed all the questions.

Through the process of evaluating this assessment, I have discovered the importance of breaking down the assessment into smaller 'chunks' of learning, aligning the feedback to the learning goals and focusing on the task, not the individual.  In designing the feedback form this focuses the evaluator on particular areas of the performance not on the individuals mannerisms.  I have been able to critique the assessments for the whole paper and look at how these effectively stair-case the students learning as they progress through the course.


Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington. (2010). Bloom's Revised Taxonomy. Retrieved from

ICE model - Ideas, Connections and Extensions - Fostaty Young, S., & Wilson, R. (2000). The ICE Model of qualitative assessment. 

Spiller, D. (2009). Assessment: Feedback to promote student learning. Hamilton, New Zealand: Teaching Development, The University of Waikato.


  1. Helen it is great to see opportunities for formative assessment in your design, and the linkages that you have made to the ICE model. A link to the earlier post would be helpful for the reader to refresh the context in which the assessment sits - could you please add this.

    Also add in at the start, a couple of sentences to state more clearly what the new assessment actually is - and the methods and tools to be used.

    Referencing needs a bit of tweaking as follows, and more explanation in relation to what it means for your assessments. The link you are intending to make to Bloom's revised taxonomy is not that clear.

    - & is an and unless the names are in brackets as in this example.

    The 'where am I going?"(what are the goals?), Hattie&Timperley(2007) part of the learning process. [What do you actually mean by this statement?]

    I have redone the following citation correctly below it.
    "Learning can be deepened if the feedback additionally prompts some degree of self reflection and management". Spiller, D. Teaching Development, 2009.

    "Learning can be deepened if the feedback additionally prompts some degree of self reflection and management" (Spiller, 2009).

    The marking sheet would benefit from some criteria so that it is clear what is being marked. Please also submit some assessment instructions.

    You also need to provide a summary at the end to pull it all together, and a full reference list.

  2. Helen this is superb. Your explanation about the new assessment design and the reasons for choosing the approach is clear, and the overview really adds to it. You have chosen appropriate evidence to support the critical discussion about the value of using feedback during formative assessment to encourage learning. Referencing is all good.

    A couple of minor suggestions. It is best to use alphabetical numbering if <10 especially at the beginning of sentences, unless numbers are the norm, e.g., 6 months.

    Also, explain what the I is in the ICE model like you did for Connections and Extensions. Otherwise people unfamiliar with it won't know what you mean.

    Don't be shy to add hyperlinks to material on your blog, e.g., ICE model, the Spiller resource when describing them - that way people can quickly go and have a look. I will give separate feedback on the other material.

  3. Hi Helen the revised marking sheet is much clearer. I am sending feedback separately on the Speeches feedback form. Some initial comments here. From my perspective you seem to be measuring the ability to demonstrate specific skills in presenting. Is that correct?

    To me the criteria you are measuring are about ability in presenting, which includes confidence but it is confusing as to what they are being scored on. Is it whether they are actually doing the skill well in a practical sense, e.g., fluent, or confident in doing the skill – they are two different things. For example they could be fluent in speaking but if speaking quietly people would think they are not confident. They could pronounce words incorrectly and yet be confident because they don’t know any different – see the overlaps?

    In any measures I have done of skills where scores are given, confidence is measured separately and in addition to whether the skill is demonstrated well or not, either for each skill or overall. My suggestions are on the document I have emailed.

    You could measure overall confidence in presenting as a separate criterion.

  4. Hi Helen I have looked at the revised marking sheet:

    I am thinking you could add something else to make it align better with the Travel and Tourism Assessment Instructions: Hotel Packages. I will send my ideas separately.