Rethinking assessment and moving away from the skoleeksamen is a core part of Marco Hirnstein’s redesign process. His module on Learning and behavior is part of the Bachelor’s programme in General Psychology. We sat down with Marco to discuss his motivation for redesigning his module, and his plans forward.
Why you are participating in TALIDA?
First of all because of curiosity. I would like to learn more about how to be a better instructor, and provide good teaching though developing my module in the course. Crucially, I felt that rethinking assessment and stepping away from the 4 hours skoleeksamen is very necessary.
What is it about your current course that you think needs changing?
The most important point I would like to change is the skoleeksamen. Having a single 4 hours exam is clearly sub-optimal and I feel it doesn’t assess my students’ progress accurately. I’ve been using multiple choice tests as part of the obligatory coursework. The students put in a lot of time but only get a “pass” or no “pass”. I want the result to count for the final mark. I also plan to include one or two reports and possibly a case study that the students tackle together in groups.
Finally, I would like to change smaller bits and pieces: the literature, the content, and generally increase student involvement.
How do you think this will improve your course, or more specifically, how do you think this will improve your student’s learning?
The change in assessment form will hopefully lead to increased fairness. I have had a number of students who told me that they loved the module, worked hard for it, learnt a lot but then had a bad day at the exam.
I hope that the smaller changes will lead to greater student involvement and thus (even) more motivated students and better marks.
How will you know if it worked?
I have been using evaluation questionnaires that assess the students’ perception of the module for three years. I’ll keep the same tools till after the changes for a direct before-after comparison. I also keep notes of all the marks. Thus, we can also examine whether the students’ performance – as measured in marks – changes.