Embed More Learning Into Assessments

An illustration of a girl walking up some stairs holding a laptop.

We're always looking for new ways for students to engage in deeper learning. While there are large-scale changes you can make to the design of your assessments to support this, there are also smaller actions you can take to provide your students with a more learning-centred assessment experience. Let's explore a few options you can try with Cadmus.

Use a template

Templates represent an easy way to quickly transform an existing task into a best practice assessment. Their structure gives students context around why a task is valuable, and then provides them with a scaffolded process for approaching the assessment. Through this guided process, the templates identify opportunities for providing more feedback to students, or presenting them with frameworks to guide their thinking. With Cadmus, you can start your instructions straight from a template — meaning it couldn't be simpler to create learning-centred task instructions.

Share learning resources

We often realise that students have gaps in their knowledge and skills well after they've submitted their final pieces. One way we can encourage students to improve their own skills independently is to provide them with adequate resources to refer to while working on an assignment. Skills guides, exemplars, and assignment tips are all examples of supportive resources you can share with students. You can easily attach these resources to your assignment in the Resources section in Cadmus.

Break down core skills into approachable actions

If we want students to master core academic skills, they need guidance through developing component skills. Similar to providing additional resources, you can also embed frameworks for approaching tasks into your instructions, using features like checklists in Cadmus. For example, a skill like reflection can be dissected into guiding questions that give students a structured approach for a task.

Reflect upon your placement experience by answering the following questions:

  • What activities did you undertake?

  • What did you learn from these experiences?

  • How did this meet, or challenge, your expectations?

Our templates also include frameworks for approaching skills like critical reading and writing, which you can add to your own task. 

Look for different ways to give feedback

When we find effective ways to provide feedback to students, we open them to up to new opportunities for learning. The timing of feedback directly impacts how students can apply and learn from it, so try to find moments earlier in the assessment process to deliver feedback. Depending on your time and resources, there are different options to consider:

Group feedback

When students submit a draft through Cadmus, you can review a portion of submissions, looking for common mistakes. You can then share a list of actions students can take to raise the quality of their submission.

Tutorial feedback

Have tutors review their students' drafts in Cadmus, and then provide targeted feedback in class based on the submissions. The feedback could take the form of a general discussion or targeted skills workshops. Encouraging tutors to provide feedback in this way helps them understand their students learning levels, while strengthening learning relationships in the course. Students can then apply the feedback in class or continue working on improving their work in their own time. 

Individual student feedback

You can also spend time providing detailed feedback on individual student drafts using the rubric. While this is more high cost, students are often motivated to make changes when given feedback they view as more personalised. Spending time giving detailed draft feedback should also decrease the amount of post-assessment support students need to understand their grades and how to do better next time. 

There are endless changes and additions you can make to your assessment process to boost student learning; it's a matter of trying and iterating on activities that work for you. Paired with feedback from students (and insights from Cadmus), you can continue to evolve your assessment to generate positive outcomes for students. 

Further Reading

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