Mark my words: creative assessment and effective feedback in ...

Mark my words: creative assessment and effective feedback in ...

Mark my words: creative assessment and effective feedback in linguistics Twice the credit in half the time: managing teaching and assessment with reduced teaching hours Paul Rowlett (Salford) Context Pre-noughties: BA (Hons) in Modern Languages (mainly) MFL specialists who opt for linguistics after level 1 Noughties: BA (Hons) Linguistics and a

modern language; BA (Hons) Modern languages and linguistics Students come committed to linguistics from the outset Before Core module: Language and mind, 10 credits, level 2 The argument for innateness, e.g., language acquisition, the systematicity of non-standard grammar, the reality of traces, structure dependence Crain, Stephen & Diane Lillo-Martin (1999) An introduction to linguistic theory and language acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell.

Gleitman, Lila & Mark Liberman (eds) (1995) An invitation to cognitive science: language. Cambidge, Mass.: MIT Press. Before Delivered via two hour-long classes over 11 weeks (semester 1) Classes = lectures, video viewings (BBC programmes about Genie and NSL, followed by discussion), student presentations During second half of module, 1520-minute group presentations; mark used as a safety net, up to 25% of module mark; Presentation based on article from primary literature (mainly):

Before Jrgen M Meisel (1995) Parameters in acquisiton, in Fletcher & MacWhinney (eds.) The handbook of child language. Oxford: Blackwell. Vivian J Cook & Mark Newson (1996) General concepts of language acquisition, in Cook & Newson Chomskys universal grammar: an introduction. Second edition. Oxford: Blackwell. Stephen Crain (1993) Language acquisition in the absence of experience, in Bloom (ed.) Language acquisition: core readings. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Steven Pinker (1993) Rules of language, in Bloom (ed.) Language acquisition: core readings. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Jill de Villiers (1995) Empty categories and complex sentences: the case of wh-questions, in Fletcher & MacWhinney (eds.) The

handbook of child language. Oxford: Blackwell. Elissa L Newport (1993) Maturational constraints on language learning, in Bloom (ed.) Language acquisition: core readings. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. Before

Students prepare/deliver presentation in groups of 2/3 Students told their presentation to be aimed at fellow students (rather than lecturer) Students expected to make effort to be accessible Students asked to show relevance to rest of module and linguistics more generally Students free to decide how much/which parts of article to present Students expected to use standard presentation aids, e.g., OHP slides and a handout Students told to expect questions from audience Students given advice on how to work: read article alone first, taking notes of main points; meeting up with other group members to discuss whether (a) to give broad summary of entire article or (b) to present section of article in detail; rehearsing to make sure the group doesnt overrun

Rationale for presentation Desire to diversify methods of assessment Salfords real-world focus (group work, less reliance on essays or other written work) Desire to encourage reflective practice QCA/Dearing key skills agenda Before Presentation assessed by lecturer and other class members Mark = average of lecturers mark and students marks Assessment criteria = clarity/accessibility, e.g.,

was it contextualised re whole module?, audibility?, legibility?, quality of handout?, dealing with questions?, timekeeping? Written qualitative feedback provided by lecturer After Early 2000s: review of teaching and assessment within School 10-credit content modules mostly abolished 20-credit modules introduced instead 20-credit modules = two hours per week Therefore, contact time effectively halved Assessment regimes rationalised

Consequences 10-credit Language and mind merged with 10-credit Foundations of semantics to form 20-credit Language, meaning and mind Number of contact hours halved for roughly same curriculum coverage

Videos to be viewed in students own time rather than class time (thereby losing communal discussion time) Group presentations replaced by poster presentations Poster presentations compulsory part of assessment scheme (replacing one written assignment) Students asked to produce A1 posters, based on the article, for the benefit of students in rest of class Same assessment criteria Posters assessed by two lecturers and by students Lecturers assign a mark, students indicate ranking

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