Conference Schedule

The Choice is Theirs: Do Students Achieve Positive Outcomes When Offered Flexibility in Course Assessment Options?

CC05 • concurrent • Return to conference schedule
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 • 11:50 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Dillon Hall 368
Sawyer Coulter University of Windsor Show biographies
Sawyer Coulter is a first year master’s candidate advised by Dr. David Andrews in the Applied Human Performance program at the University of Windsor. While pursing her undergraduate degree in the Human Kinetics program, Sawyer gained an interest in teaching and learning research while working on an independent study with Dr. Andrews. With a passion for lifelong learning, Sawyer plans to pursue a PhD and career in academia, and hopes to contribute valuable research toward the scholarship of teaching and learning.
David Andrews University of Windsor
David Andrews is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, and was the Teaching Leadership Chair for the Faculty of Human Kinetics from 2014-2018. He teaches courses in Functional Anatomy, Human Factors and Work Performance, and Occupational Biomechanics. Outside of his disciplinary research in ergonomics and biomechanics focused on injury prevention, David's interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning include educational leadership, peer observation of teaching, and assessment and evaluation in higher education.

As higher education students continue to evolve, so too should the format, design, and delivery of courses offered by instructors. Research suggests that learning is promoted when students are empowered with choice over course design and assessment methods (Cook, 2001). A group (n=109) of upper year undergraduate students in Kinesiology were asked to select from one of nine possible assessment weighting options, and to choose how many group members they preferred to work with at the start of term. Their choices and resulting grades were evaluated to determine if student perceptions of their relative strengths on the different assessment types were reflected in the grades they received. Offering choice resulted in positive outcomes for many students, including higher grades on the assessment type to which they allocated the most weight. Given that benefits of flexible assessment have been reported within different disciplines and years of study, the approach used in the current study will need to be confirmed on a broader scale. This concurrent session will explore the flexible assessment practices used in the current study and highlight how learning more about flexible assessment strategies for students will help evolve teaching practices to better suit their learning strengths and needs.