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UAL Research Online

Assessment as Participation in Practice

Drew, Linda and Shreeve, Alison (2006) Assessment as Participation in Practice. In: Improving Student Learning: Improving Student Learning through Assessment. Oxford: Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development., Oxford.

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Drew, Linda and Shreeve, Alison


The opportunity presented by assessment is potentially the most powerful learning situation a student can encounter during their time in formal learning. This paper commences with a review of research which shows that both students and teachers can understand assessment in different ways (Samuelowicz and Bain, 2002; Shreeve et al, 2005a, 2005b) and how this presents a potential space in which a miss-match of intentions can result in some students not achieving their full potential. Students can adopt a different approach to assessment depending on the way they perceive the context and the approach it affords (Laurillard, 1984).

This conceptual paper further discusses previous research into the way students in creative practice subjects perceive the nature of their subject. The quality of the learning environment in creative practice subjects relates to the context and the conceptions of learning and teaching held by both teacher and student (Drew, 2004; Drew & Williams, 2003; Reid & Davies, 2000) and the way in which they understand assessment. Conceptions of teaching held by creative practice academics support the notion of a community of practice dimension where the most complete conceptions concern helping learners becoming a practitioner through change in the student lifeworld. This paper explores the role assessment could play in student learning if teachers also understood assessment to be about a process of becoming a practitioner, rather than a discrete function of grading and sorting skills and abilities.

The paper takes as its premise the idea of learning as a social practice, that of engaging in legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wenger, 1991) into a community of practice (Wenger, 2000). In this sense, we propose that assessment becomes an aspect of community in which both teachers and students are engaged in interaction, with the purpose of creating an identity associated with the creative profession of future employment.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

Linda Drew

Current Research

Linda Drew, Ph.D., is Dean of Graduate School for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon at the University of the Arts London. Dr. Drew was previously Dean of Academic Development at Chelsea College of Arts and Design, University of the Arts London and prior to this was Co-Director of the Art, Design and Communication subject centre based at the University of Brighton. She is editor of the peer-reviewed journal Art, Design and Communication in Higher Education published by Intellect. Her research interests focus on conceptions of, and approaches to, learning and teaching situated within the context of practice-based disciplines. In this regard she is one of a growing clutch of active design researchers working with both phenomenographic and social constructivist approaches to research.

Alison Shreeve

Research Interests

My research interests include students' and tutors' experience of teaching and learning in the arts, with a social practice emphasis.

Current Research

I have a PhD in Educational Research from the University of Lancaster. My thesis explores the role of the practitioner who also teaches, looking specifically at the variation in the experience they have of the relationship between practice and teaching. I examine the contextual factors of past histories of development individuals bring to their two work environments and the interactions within and between these two environments that help to influence their experience. The variation in the relationship between practice and teaching can influence the kinds of learning experiences students have in art and design F/HE.

I use a phenomenographic approach to the research in order to explore variation in practice/ teaching relations and activity theory as a heuristic to consider the different work contexts and the relationship between them as experienced by practitioner tutors. This enables us to understand how practice/ teaching relations are experienced and also to examine possible contextual factors in relation to variation. I also consider the role of identity as an important and often overlooked aspect of research using these approaches and I include a discussion of identity as a particular way to understand individuals working within and across different activities.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: assessment, communities of practice, creative practice, social practice, identity, teaching and learning research
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Oxford: Oxford Brookes University, Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development.
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 2006
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 11:22
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2016 14:01
Item ID: 1992
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1992

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