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Title: Assessing for Learning in the Crucial First Year of University Study in the Sciences
Contributor(s): Quinn, Frances  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: Student diversity is becoming increasingly characteristic of first-year classes and is one of the imperatives for more innovative assessment in tertiary education (James, McInnis, and Devlin, 2(02). Among first-year students there is variation in age, enrollment type (on or off campus), and language background, and growing numbers of first-year students are juggling part-time paid employment with full-time study (McInnes, James, and Hartley, 2000). Numerous first-year students at some Australian universities are from socioeconomically disadvantaged environments, and may be hampered by previous systemic educational disadvantage; dependent, passive learning habits; and the lack of 'cultural capital' described by Muldoon (see Chapter 7). Many science students in this era of mass tertiary education do not have intrinsic interest in science 'for its own sake' (Laws, 1996, p. 25). This has clear implications for student motivation, especially in first-year science classes. These are often 'service classes', that is, large, compulsory, introductory classes prerequisite to later more specialized areas of study, and therefore potentially of low perceived relevance to students' aspirations or interests. Increasingly, in Australia (Niland, 1998) and the United Kingdom (Dunbar, 1995), students are entering science programs having taken less-intensive, generalist science options in secondary school. These aspects of student diversity are central to the issue of assessment in first year, as relative youth, time pressures, lack of intrinsic interest, and limited background knowledge are frequently associated with ineffective reproductive orientations to learning, which may either be entrenched or challenged by assessment choices in first year.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Teaching in the Sciences: Learner-Centered Approaches, p. 177-197
Publisher: The Haworth Press
Place of Publication: Binghamton, United States of America
ISBN: 1560222646
Field of Research (FOR): 130303 Education Assessment and Evaluation
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 930199 Learner and Learning not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter
School of Education

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