Paula Dimmell and Elisabeth Hutton, University of Adelaide
Assessment as learning – encouraging students to take control of their own learning

It is essential that students be active participants in the teaching and learning cycle through the development and assessment of reflective and independent learning skills in academic programs. However, how do we encourage assessment ‘as’ learning not just ‘for’ learning? At The University of Adelaide’s English Language Centre (ELC), we focus on developing students’ ability to take control of their own learning and use assessment to critically reflect on and analyse their own academic development.

For students, the benefits are directly related to the development of independent learning skills. This includes respecting and valuing their peers’ feedback, taking control of their own learning by recognising areas of strengths and addressing areas of difficulty and developing life-long skills. For the teachers, the benefits include opportunities to identify ways to adjust their teaching in order to create opportunities for students to critically evaluate their learning experiences.

Our session will provide participants with a ‘take home’ tool kit that can be immediately used in a variety of ESOL contexts by demonstrating different activities used in our various academic programs, both locally and internationally. The activities presented show how students can actively build their own knowledge and awareness of their learning and assist them in developing team work, critical and analytical thinking skills, problem-solving and communication skills.

Paula Dimmell is the Education Program Manager for TESOL/EAL programs at the English Language Centre and oversees programs such as TESOL electives for the MEd program, CELTA courses, tailored research skills and academic prep courses delivered both locally and internationally.

Beth Hutton has been the Pre-enrolment English Program (PEP) Education Program Manager at the English Language Centre since 2008. She has had extensive teaching and management experience in the field of English as a Foreign Language. She participated in the PEP curriculum re-write throughout 2009-10, which emphasises Independent Learning Skills.