Keynote Speakers 2013

The two keynote speakers who presented at the 2013 event.


Plato versus AHELO: The nature and role of the spoken word in assessing and promoting learning 

Associate Professor Gordon Joughin, The University of Queensland, Australia

Plato argued for “the inferiority of the written to the spoken word” in evaluating students’ knowledge: the spoken word was one “written on the soul of the hearer with understanding”, while the written word would allow students to develop a reputation for wisdom without its reality. 2,300 years later we are still confronted with communicative issues in assessment: Are some modes of communication better than others in allowing us to determine what our students know, value and are able to do?  What happens to learning and assessment when students have to speak their understanding? If the spoken word can in fact reveal ‘real wisdom’, what does this tell us about traditional exams, essays and standardised, computerised testing on the one hand, and the emerging use of blogs, wikis, podcasts and social media on the other? This keynote address will delve into the nature of the spoken versus the written word in assessment and learning, unpacking ideas about orality and literacy based on studies from the students’ perspective, and inviting participants to consider implications for current and emerging assessment practices.


Gordon Joughin is an Associate Professor in Higher Education at The University of Queensland, Australia and currently Director of its Teaching and Educational Development Institute. He has written extensively on assessment matters, with a Gordon Joughinfocus on oral assessment and the influence this form of assessment can have on student learning. He is the editor of  Assessment, Learning and Judgement in Higher Education (Springer), co-author (with David Carless and Fun Lui) of How Assessment Supports Learning: Learning-oriented Assessment in Action ( Hong Kong University Press), and co-author of the David Boud led Assessment 2020: Seven Propositions for Assessment Reform in Higher Education. Gordon is a member of the Editorial Board of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. His current projects include a study of veterinary students’ experience of final year vivas and an exploration of the contextual influences on academic decision making in assessment matters.


Assessment literacy: making the link between satisfaction and learning

Professor Margaret Price, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, United Kingdom

Assessment and feedback remain a source of dissatisfaction for students as well as being resource hungry for staff. Initiatives focused on rules, standardisation and ever increasing provision of information seem to have made little difference in alleviating the problems.  Consequently we need to examine more deeply how assessment and learning works in order to find an effective, sustainable and satisfying solution.  The power of assessment and feedback within the learning process has been recognised for many years and yet the paradigms that currently frame assessment leave students in a passive role and still largely focus on accreditation. This situation needs to be challenged through the development assessment literacy of both staff and students, which, in turn, will make new attitudes and approaches to assessment and feedback possible. This presentation will discuss the nature of assessment literacy, how it might be developed (particularly among students), and how it has the potential to reshape our thinking about assessment and feedback as well as enhancing student learning.


Margaret was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in June 2002 in recognition of her excellence in teaching and contribution to the development of learning, teaching and assessment in Higher Education especially through Margaret Pricecurriculum development in interdisciplinary learning and interpersonal skills development. She is Professor in Learning and Assessment and leads the development of learning and teaching in the Business School through the development of strategy, sharing and enhancement of good practice and innovation in learning, teaching and assessment methods. As Director of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, ASKe (Assessment Standards Knowledge Exchange) she is working with a team of colleagues to build a learning community centred on assessment, to encourage innovation and foster evidence-based assessment practice within the HE sector.

Research interests focus on peer support for learning; Criterion referenced assessment; Social constructivist approaches to sharing knowledge or assessment standards with students and the effectiveness of sharing knowledge of standards within marking teams.

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