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Changing Futures in Higher Education (2022)

Assessment of Future Skills Learning

„Changing Futures in Higher Education: Assessment of Future Skills Learning” is the second report of the research series in the DIRK Dual project. It emphasizes the urge to support students in developing learner agency (Schoon, 2018) to learn FS in a self-organised way. FS, as competencies/dispositions to act (Ehlers, 2020), can neither be taught nor assessed like professional knowledge. For their development, students need formative feedback and the ability to self-reflect and self-assess rather than summative tests. This means, educators need to shift from assessments of learning towards assessments as learning (Yan & Boud, 2022). This transformation of assessment practices at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is an essential step to empowering students for lifelong learning.

Between October 2021 and February 2022, the authors mapped out different self-assessment approaches at German HEIs, focusing on portfolio work. Various types of instruments and concepts identified can be integrated differently into curricula and HEIs’ strategies. The authors categorise them into four integration types and present a corresponding model in this report: (1) individual/stand-alone, (2) course-integrated, (3) programme-integrated, and (4) institution-integrated and beyond. They differ in scope, the role of students and teachers, form and depth of integration into curricula (referring to the number of modules, voluntary or mandatory participation), and their usability beyond university purposes. Common to all four types is the transfer of the responsibility to reflect and deal with assessments of specific subject matters to learners themselves. The report presents good practices from German HEIs for each type. Although there are many good practices in place already, a common vision of the assessment practice of the future and strategic approaches rather than lighthouse projects are what we need.

Find out more about the DIRK dual project here

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