The Role of participatory action research in leading the development of engaging assessment

Marina Harvey

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

    Abstract

    The Australian Learning and Teaching Council funded project Leadership and Assessment: Strengthening the Nexus succeeded in building the capacity of a group of cross-disciplinary leaders to create effective and engaging assessment practice. A Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology underpinned the project. This paper presents an evaluative perspective on the methodology and process of PAR and its role in the assessment focused action research projects across thirteen departments in one Sydney metropolitan university. It also outlines the range of outcomes achieved across the multiple of the organisation (unit, program, department and faculty). Multi-phase development initially included three departments in the project with Action Research Enablers leading the initial “assessment profile” in their department, supported by an “influencer”. The Action Research Enablers formed a community of practice known as the “Leaders in Effective Assessment Practice” (LEAP) group (also presenting on this panel), and this community grew as each subsequent phase was rolled out. At each phase of the project a scholarly approach was adopted to developing new and engaging assessment practice. Individual and collaborative reflective practice informed the identification of theoretical models for leading assessment, informed strategies, aided development of tools used in each department, and informed the evaluation framework. The paper provides examples of the many outcomes that have been achieved including intended project outcomes such as profiling assessment, introducing new and engaging assessment practices and new policies. In addition to the planned outcomes, serendipitous outcomes include the acknowledgement of the leadership capacity of each Action Research Enabler in driving assessment change across the organisation, as well as many additional outcomes resulting from drawing on the synergies made possible by an organisational academic restructure and a corresponding shift in the culture of assessment across all levels of the university.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationATN assessment
    Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the ATN Assessment Conference 2008 : engaging students in assessment
    Place of PublicationAdelaide
    PublisherUniversity of South Australia
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9780646504421
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventATN Assessment Conference - Adelaide
    Duration: 20 Nov 200821 Nov 2008

    Conference

    ConferenceATN Assessment Conference
    CityAdelaide
    Period20/11/0821/11/08

    Keywords

    • assessment
    • participatory action research
    • leadership

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  • Cite this

    Harvey, M. (2008). The Role of participatory action research in leading the development of engaging assessment. In ATN assessment: proceedings of the ATN Assessment Conference 2008 : engaging students in assessment Adelaide: University of South Australia.