Measuring what matters: the missing affective in assessment

Rochon, Rebecca (2023) Measuring what matters: the missing affective in assessment. In: Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) International Conference 2023, 22nd June 2023, Manchester.

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In a context that privileges metrics associated with the assessment of cognitive outcomes, existing research has identified that teaching and assessment activities with an affective focus are underrepresented (Shephard, 2007) and that there is a pressing need to develop policies and approaches to measurement in the affective domain in higher education (Rogaten et al., 2018). This presentation shares the results of research in which assessed learning outcomes were juxtaposed with student and staff perceptions of value and learning in an undergraduate live brief project. It will be of relevance to practitioners involved in the design of assessed learning outcomes at a time when there is significant pressure to prepare students holistically for employment through authentic experiences. The study used an interpretivist qualitative methodology, bringing together data from two sources: module descriptors and focus groups involving 47 student and staff participants. Module learning outcomes were analyzed in terms of their alignment with domains from two different taxonomies: Anderson’s revised Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing (Anderson et al., 2001), commonly referred to as ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy’ and Atkinson’s Taxonomy Circles (Atkinson, 2013). Focus group transcripts were analyzed using Contextual Text Coding (CTC). Results showed a discrepancy between assessed module learning outcomes and student and staff perceptions of value and learning. The affective domain was not represented in any of the assessed learning outcomes, yet the analysis of the focus group data indicated that this was the greatest area of reported learning. This examination provides empirical support for the observations of other researchers, including Anderson et al. (2001) who have noted the limitations of the revised Taxonomy. It is suggested that the design of learning outcomes may be poorly served by an uncritical use of ‘Bloom’s Taxonomy. This is of particular importance given the hegemonic status of this framework in the design and assessment of learning outcomes. The session and provides recommendations on embedding the affective domain in learning, teaching and assessment and invites discussion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2023 12:17
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2023 12:17

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