ASSESSING WITH PREZI
University of Warwick (UNITED KINGDOM)
In higher education there is a current tension between the need to be rigorous about assessment to maintain standards and at the same time to be innovative about the ways in which we assessment students’ knowledge. This is also linked with developing student’s general skills for employability. Posters have been used as a form of assessment in higher education for many years yet these can be expensive both in space and time to arrange for viewing for assessment purposes. There are also costs associated with this method of assessment for the students to produce their final versions. The author wanted to introduce a different way of assessing a poster like presentation that would be freely available to students and allow for additional skills enhancement for the students. Prezi was chosen for the purpose and this was linked to a specific master’s level module in the first instance where there was an opportunity to try out this form of assessment. Prezi is a web based zooming presentation editor software which allows the creator to plan the pathway through the presentation for the viewer. It allows the user to create a visual maps of their ideas linking in images, words, video, audio in addition to the more usual citations. Whilst there is a small body of literature about the use of Prezi for instructional purposes and offering the teacher to work with students in a non-linear way for example in counselling courses (Rockinson-Szapkiw 2011) there is little about its use as an assessment tool for teachers at any level. This paper evaluates the use of Prezi as part of a master’s level module focusing on mentoring and coaching. The task that the students undertook was to present their ideas about mentoring and coaching and how they saw the relationship between the two terms making use of the tools within the software. This paper details the trialling of the use of Prezi with a group of 44 students and through into developing appropriate assessment criteria linked to the generic masters level descriptors for the current year’s students numbering almost 100. The paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this strategy from the students and tutors perspectives. It also explores the differing kinds of insights available using pictorial representations of concepts developed in the taught sessions and offers this having the potential to shift tutors thinking about assessment in higher education.