An investigation of the confidence levels of course/subject coordinators in undertaking aspects of their assessment responsibilities

2014-06-06T09:21:47Z (GMT) by Merrilyn Goos Clair Hughes
Ongoing and rapid change is having a significant impact on the social and cultural contexts of assessment in higher education. Change and innovation have been driven not only by advances in our knowledge of effective practice but also by government policies, the latter often resulting in uncertainty regarding the freedoms and responsibilities of the academic role and erosion of professional confidence. As confidence is considered central to the ability to learn about and master new practices, understanding and enhancing this significant component of an assessment culture is therefore a fundamental challenge to institutional efforts to improve assessment practice. This paper reports the outcomes of an investigation of academic confidence, a preliminary ‘mapping’ activity undertaken to inform plans for developing the assessment leadership capacities of course/subject coordinators. The investigation took the form of an online survey of all course coordinators. Outcomes include the identification of areas of high and low confidence and their correlation with demographic data such as length of experience. Open-ended comments provided rich qualitative data on possible reasons for high and low confidence.