Problem based learning in Higher Education and new approaches to assessment as a consequence of new formal regulations

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    Aalborg University has more than 30 years of experiences in educating students through the use of problem based learning strategies.  The pedagogical model is described in keywords as problem-oriented, project-organised cooperative learning in groups. Within a curricular fra­mework based on scientific or professional fields (often with a considerable degree of interdisciplinarity) the members in the study groups choose and formulate pro­blems and questions, which are investigated and analysed by the students and they take steps towards resol­ving, making use of existing sources, methods and theo­ries. This work is documented in a project report drawn up by the group and it becomes the basis for oral exami­nation at the end of each term and semester. In general this work process has similarities to research work, but it is also related to work processes such as development projects, project management and in relation to organisational learning. It is therefore considered a useful preparation for the candidate's working life, both as regards the knowledge dimension and the development of collaborative competences.

    Until recently examinations of the project work were held in groups on the basis of the project report in order to ensure alignment between goals, learning activities and assessment form. However, in 2006 the government announced that group examinations would no longer be permitted. As a result students are now allowed to do study work and write reports in groups, but they are to be examined and assessed individually, i.e. without the presence of other students from the group.

    In this paper, we will investigate some of the consequences of these new regulations for   assessment. The research questions will address the question of alignment between group study and individual examination; the pros and cons of the individual examinations including the aspect of validity; the influence on student behaviour, if any; and finally the academic results of the new regulations. The results of a qualitative survey among study leaders will be compared to previous investigations made since the ban of group exams. Based on selected theoretical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment we wish to discuss the result of our research, the consequences of the changes in assessment forms, as well as the measures taken at the university in order to obtain new valid assessment forms. Finally, suggestions will be made to some alternative assessment forms.

    Antal sider20
    StatusUdgivet - 2010
    BegivenhedThe 17th Improving Student Learning For the Twenty-First Century Learner - Imperial College, London, Storbritannien
    Varighed: 7 sep. 20099 sep. 2009
    Konferencens nummer: 17


    KonferenceThe 17th Improving Student Learning For the Twenty-First Century Learner
    ByImperial College, London


    • uddannelse
    • gruppeeksamen
    • læring

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