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In this session, Vikki Hill and Jan McArthur will share the practical application of their research into assessment and social justice, while also considering future paths for further research and nurturing an ongoing conversation about assessment, compassion, joy and social justice. We start, however, from an unexpected place. Rather than simply discussing the enhancement of assessment, we use the medical ethical term of ‘do no harm’ to remind everyone that assessment cannot just be improved, we need to address the fact that current practices do actual harm. They harm student learning, student sense of achievement, personal satisfaction and wellbeing – and they socially do harm if they perpetuate these distorted senses of what actually matters when we engage with knowledge and research.

Session Plan:

9.30-9.35 - Introduction and setting the scene of Do No Harm

9.35-9.55 –  Vikki Hill – Pipelines of Compassion

Vikki discusses her QAA research ‘Pipelines of Compassion’ and the possibilities of different assessment practice through a compassionate lens.  The focus will on the recently co-authored paper, What could possibly be the harm in grading? 

9.55-10.05 – Activity – Are you worried that you might do harm in your assessment practices?

10.05-10.25 – Jan McArthur – Assessment for Social Justice: the struggle to find it

Jan discusses her work on Assessment for Social Justice: the journey from philosophical and conceptual development to empirical “testing”.  How the failure to find much evidence of assessment for social justice underlines the need to think more about Do No Harm in assessment.

10.25-10.35 – Activity – What can you do to bring compassion/joy/social justice into assessment?

10.35-11.00 – Discussion

Speaker biographies:

Vikki Hill (SFHEA, CATE) is an Educational Developer in the Academic Enhancement Team at University of the Arts London (UAL). Vikki has over 20 years’ experience in art and design education and works with staff to develop pedagogy and support equitable outcomes for students. Her doctoral research focuses on assessment, compassion, educational development and posthumanism.

Jan McArthur is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Social Justice in the Department of Educational Research, Lancaster University.  Jan has researched and published in the area of assessment and social justice, linking this to her broader interests in the nature and purposes of higher education and how these shape everyday learning, teaching and assessment practices.  Her book Assessment for Social Justice (Bloomsbury) draws on Frankfurt School critical theory, as does much of her other work. She recently published an article in Higher Education – “Rethinking Authentic Assessment: work, wellbeing and society”.

June 14th, 2022 from  9:30 AM to 11:00 AM
Online event - link will be provided
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