An update on the PASS project

On Friday last (11.05.2012) Professor Peter Hartley came to speak to a few EdDev colleagues about the Programme Assessment Strategies (PASS) project which involves a consortium across a number of universities.

The session was essentially offering us an update on the project which is drawing to a conclusion. Further details available on the PASS web site PASS aimed to address the failure to assess the espoused intended outcomes of an entire programme because assessment can be atomised, focusing on the micro level within modules and hence on what is easiest to assess. In this way, it is argued, the complex, higher order learning that programmes seek to engender in students is not assessed. And indeed, if both students and staff fail to see the links between modules, its a moot point as to whether, for many students, this higher order learning is being achieved. So, with that challenge to chew on …
“The first and most critical point is that the assessment is specifically designed to address major programme outcomes rather than very specific or isolated components of the course. It follows then that such assessment is integrative in nature, trying to bring together understanding and skills in ways which represent key programme aims. As a result, the assessment is likely to be more authentic and meaningful to students, staff and external stakeholders.” From the PASS Position Paper The project is now in the implementation phase. The ideas are stimulating, the examples draw from practice in a range of universities and the possibilities extremely exciting.

The project ends in November 2012, but all the resources will be avaiable beyond that.