Students’ views of oral performance assessment in mathematics: straddling the ‘assessment of’ and ‘assessment for’ learning divide

2016-06-07T11:24:15Z (GMT) by Paola Iannone Adrian Simpson
This paper explores the views of a group of students who took an oral performance assessment in a first year mathematics module. Such assessments are unusual for most subjects in the UK, but particularly within the generally homogenous assessment diet of undergraduate mathematics. The evidence presented here resonates with some, but not all, of the existing literature on oral assessment and suggests that, despite concerns about anxiety and fairness, students see oral assessments as encouraging a focus on understanding, being relatively authentic and reactive to their needs. We argue that, suitably implemented, oral assessment may be a viable assessment method for straddling the ‘assessment for’ and ‘assessment of’ learning divide in higher education.