Free PDF: Can markers detect contract cheating? Results from a pilot study.

Can markers detect CC

Hot off the presses, here is a free PDF post-print of our latest article on contract cheating: Dawson, P., & Sutherland-Smith, W. (in press). Can markers detect contract cheating? Results from a pilot study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. doi:10.1080/02602938.2017.1336746 Contract cheating is the purchasing of custom-made university assignments with the intention of submitting […]

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What makes for ineffective feedback?


The literature is filled with claims about what makes for effective feedback, for example, feedback that focuses on student self-regulation; feedback designs that require students to act on the comments they receive; and feedback that is timed so students can act on it. But what about what makes for ineffective feedback? This was a topic […]

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Some cognitive reasons why assessment improvement is hard – and what we can do about them

Improving assessment can be hard for a mix of pragmatic and pedagogical reasons. In new research just published, we extend those to include some psychological limits to assessment designers’ thinking and decision-making. You could think of this as the (abridged) Thinking Fast and Slow or Freakonomics of assessment design: Improving assessment tasks through addressing our […]

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New project “Feedback for learning: closing the assessment loop”

I’m delighted to be part of a team on a new $280k Office for Learning and Teaching project titled “Feedback for learning: closing the assessment loop”. The project is led by A/Prof Michael Henderson from Monash University: Feedback (during and after) assessment tasks is critical for effectively promoting student learning. Without feedback students are limited […]

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4 ways technology shapes assessment designs

As part of the Assessment Design Decisions project, we spoke with 33 Australian university educators about how technology influences their assessment design processes. We recently published a paper in the British Journal of Educational Technology with our results. Our four key themes are: Technology is enmeshed in the ‘economics of assessment’ Technology is seen as […]

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Why it’s not just assessors who benefit from multiple choice(s)

Think of university assessment and it probably conjures anxiety. As David Boud notes: even successful, able and committed students – those who become university teachers – have been hurt by their experiences of assessment, time and time again, through school and through higher education. Even the very language of assessment, essays and exams is etymologically […]

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