The previous studies we had performed (see here and here) highlighted the need to change the assessment culture, from one which focusses on assessment of learning to one which supports assessment for learning, in order to enhance feedback receptivity.
Our next study used participatory design methods to explore how a mixed group of stakeholders might attempt to change the assessment culture to one in which students made more use of post-assessment feedback.
Participants shared common assumptions and beliefs about the importance of the summative assessment paradigm. Their beliefs seemed heavily influenced by their own prior experiences of assessment, were deeply-rooted and largely not changed by arguments from others in the group discussion.
As a result, changes that were proposed were typically small and still congruent with the summative assessment paradigm. Strongly-held beliefs were often in conflict; for example, a tension existed between the need for greater authenticity in assessments and the need for standardisation and reliability. Van der Vleuten’s work on the need for compromise in assessment clearly remains very relevant.