FEEDBACK ASSESSMENT EXPERIENCE FOR CURRICULAR CYCLES: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CAREER PROGRAM OF THE ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL IN UNIVERSIDAD TÉCNICA FEDERICO SANTA MARÍA, CHILE
The current higher education system demands upon every professional teaching-learning to consider global themes like; continuous education, interdisciplinary training, and development of tools for monitoring quality in higher education. Within this context, feedback and assessment of students and the different ways to approach it them seem to be at the core of education, being the main objective to develop and improve learning (Biggs and Tang, 2006).
How do we approach to a meaningful effective feedback-assessment experience?
This research describes the design and implementation of a feedback experience that focuses on temporal dimensions and longitudinal development of feedback. By evaluating different curricular cycles of an architecture career program at the Department of Architecture of the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Chile (DA USM). This research is focused to analyze and promote the continuous assessment of meta-cognitive skills. In line with the idea of interdisciplinary contribution, the experience approaches the inner dynamics of the architecture design studio. And relates the feed-forward feedback to the development of the learning process on a long professional scope. The main objective of the study is to design and apply an effective and meaningful feedback assessment tool, for both teachers and students.
Method and timing of the feedback experience take significant relevance in this case because is not a particular course being evaluated, but the completion of the formative and the advance cycle which structure the complete curricular program. Considering that the tools designed and implemented for registration of feedback and assessment are related to different times of the learning experience this work allow us not only to inform the student about its own performance. But to do so in a holistic manner (surpassing isolated outcomes of specific courses to focus on the personal development of the student), and also to check out the relations of structural moments of the curricular program in regards to the final professional profile that it’s being pursued. Focusing on the tracking and development of meta-cognitive skills, this work also offers the experience to transfer relevant findings and clues to other careers beyond architecture.
In a context –DA USM- were teaching-learning strategy understands the professor as a facilitator of the learning process and the student as a responsible subject of it (Barros 2011, Solis et al 2010), feedback is understood and intended as a process aimed to promote reflective activity through the engagement of the individual (Roberts and Yoells 2009, Hourigan and McCLean 2011).
Methodologically the experience is observed and examined from both professors and students and it has proved to have diverse usefulness depending on the observer. These preliminary findings allow us to value the implementation of the feedback experience and the designed tools as more than merely bureaucratic documentation of limited value. The discovery and understanding of the effective relevance of the tools applied gave us the opportunity to diversify one same feedback sheet -a cross-assessment tool called Evaluative Matrix (ME)- into a integral instrument that allow us to (1) give an informed assessment to the student, (2) review the time structure of the curricular program towards an a optimization of it, (3) and to increase feasibility of accreditation and interdisciplinary transfer.