1 Edinburgh Napier University (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Ulster University (UNITED KINGDOM)
3 York St John University (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 8333 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.1913
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The Covid 19 pandemic has been catastrophic for so many people and in so many sectors. And yet in the context of Higher Education (HE) there have been opportunities to learn in the context of Higher Education (HE) and the chance to revisit past conversations. Amongst the many topics that have resurfaced, assessment is one. Perhaps it was that in the process of having to move everything online, we fully appreciated the limitations of our assessment choices, not least examinations which seem to still prevail in their abundance. So it is that in some quarters we have revisited what we mean by authentic assessment and how it might be operationalised. In reflecting on the way it was, and still is, we – the authors of this abstract – have begun to unpack the potential for reciprocal learning which benefits both the assessed and the assessor, and possibly the wider University, within the framework of authentic assessment.

The context for these musings locates in a study undertaken in spring/ summer 2020. Collectively autoethnographic in its design, it brought together four experienced academics in an online space to talk about, and to create a shared narrative focused on professional dialogue and its assessment, in the specific context of Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship recognition. Our process took the form of three planned conversations, subsequently analysed using mind mapping, followed by a final online discussion. This enabled us to deepen our understanding in respect of authentic assessment in this particular area of academic practice. We were enabled to better appreciate that a dialogic assessment is more than a simple alternative to one which privileges the written word. We came to realise the critical significance of the assessment design and its potential to support and drive forwards an inclusive approach within which reciprocity is both potential, and a driver.

The aim of our paper is to present our findings and provoke discussion. We intend to stimulate debate in respect of dialogue as an authentic assessment tool not just in the context of HEA Fellowship, but more widely in the HE context, where, we argue, the nature and purpose of our approaches to assessment warrant further examination.
Authentic assessment, professional recognition, dialogic approaches to assessment.