We (Josh Berlyne & Fabienne Collignon) aim to explore prospects of a progressive relationship between lecturers and students, co-exisiting as researchers in a pedagogical space of possibility. We look to develop a pedagogical practice that is driven by active collaboration between members of staff and students, where the latter no longer function as consumers, but, as Mike Neary writes, producers of knowledge. In that spirit, we seek to examine and re-imagine assessment as a practice in which students become active participants and, as a result, transform the assessment practice of a core module at Level 2: Critical and Literary Theory (LIT204).
As such, we are organising a series of workshops this term, the first of which will take place in the Richard Roberts Building, room B81 on Wednesday 8th March. We invite all interested students at L1, L2 and L3, as well as Students’ Union officers & staff from, and beyond, SoE to discuss alternative assessment practices. This first workshop is divided into two parts:
- ‘Feedback’, from 1-2.30pm, led by Josh, without staff presence, in which L1, L2, L3 students are encouraged to bring along copies of their past assessment papers (the rubric & set questions) for each respective module as basis for asking questions about assessment practice, with reference to the questions below.
- ‘System’, from 2.45-4pm, (students + staff + Students’ Union representatives), circling around the various problems of doing assessment, what type of learning assessment practices might favour, the correlations between mental health and a system of marketised HE, obsessed with endless performance reviews, data analysis, programme specifications, Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO).
We invite you to begin thinking through the following questions:
— What is assessment, what can it do?
— To what extent is it (im)possible to speak about assessment without also speaking about the institution?
— What is it like to live an ‘examined’ life?
— What would it be like to live an unexamined life?
— What forms of subjecthood does assessment/the institution mobilise? Is there a way to resist such conceptions?
— In what ways can we irritate or put pressure on audit culture and the assessment regime?
— Would it help if we conceived of a ‘kinder’, more democratic assessment practice, or should we (have to) feel its full force as violent system?
— What consequences does the assessment regime and, more generally, audit culture (including such ‘initiatives’ as TEF [Teaching Excellence Framework]), have on mental health?