Catherine Zara, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Warwick
The impetus to create assessment criteria promoting an integrated approach to academic and work-based learning came from the realisation that existing academic criteria we were using in the University only partially reflected the nature of work required of students on a new Foundation Degree Award (FdA) the Foundation Degree in Post-Compulsory Education and Training.
In collaboration with colleagues in CLL and partner Colleges, we have created a more relevant way of expressing assessment criteria. These have been ‘trialled’ in staff development workshops, adapted for use on the FdA and commended by the External Examiner. The workshops and/or grid have subsequently enhanced the practice of colleagues on other programmes in CLL and Institute of Education. We feel that these guidelines and criteria may well be more widely applicable in the University.
The innovative aspects of this teaching enhancement initiative are twofold:
- the criteria categories and grade band descriptors are written in language that indicates not only parity of esteem for work-based and academic learning, but the paramount importance of the one informing the other in an iterative manner;
- the fourth column highlights the significance of the students’ commitment to Personal and Professional Development Planning. This has been deemed of high relevance and value to employers and very much in tune with anticipated but as yet only partially formulated developments for undergraduate and postgraduate students within Warwick University in general.