I often think that being a fly on the wall at assessment events would help students get their heads around how best to present their work for assessment. We are into our third week of assessment at OCA HQ, and this week we have the painting assessors here. We always grab them to talk about examples of student work, and of course they like to pick work that excites and engages them.
So, I thought a change of focus might be helpful. We always have one or two tutors observing the assessment process so that all tutors are kept in the loop about standards and key issues at assessment. I asked them what they had learned at today’s event. One of them commented: ‘I now see how often students let themselves down by not realizing how important a learning log is or reflecting properly on their work’. Her other top observation was on judgement. ‘ I can see how difficult it is for the assessors when a student submits everything they’ve done and have shown no judgement. ‘ She went on: ‘ The assessors stand there scratching their heads wondering why a student has submitted a drawing that lets all the others down? Students need to understand the importance of being selective, I’ve seen students lose marks today because they lack the conviction to plump for their best work.’ she said.
Another visiting tutor said its clear that the preparatory work for the final pieces is just as valid and important as the final work. ‘I noticed that assessors often home in on the preparatory work just as much as the final work, so they can get under the skin of the student’s working methods.’ The tutor went on, ‘One of the most striking things I’ve found is the correlation between hard work and results. The students who investigate, practice, try again, re-work, look at master painters, these are the students who do well.’ A final comment from a visiting tutor: I’ll be telling my students to make sure they structure their assessment submission clearly, labelling each assignment outcome. I can see how much easier it is for the assessors when students do organize their submission clearly.’