CALRG seminar by Dr Gwyneth Hughes, Reader in Higher Education, Institute of Education, UCL
‘Ipsative’ assessment is about comparing your current performance with your past perfomance. It comes from the Latin word ‘ipse’, meaning herself or himself
Assessment is predominantly taken to be a measurement of learning, and can be considered to be one of the cornerstones of a meritocracy.
A focus on marks, grades and performance distracts attention from the learning process. It can reduce the motivation of students who consistently receive low marks.
Ipsative assessment distinguishes between learning and attainment, it also helps to build motivation and self-esteem. It involves feedback on how a learner has progressed. One approach is the use of learning portfolios in which students provide evidence of how they have learned and developed.
A funded project on assessment found that students were rarely given written feedback on progress. However, assessors found it very difficult, because they did not know what feedback students had been given in the past – particularly if the feedback had been provided by other educators. Feedback is not stored centrally.
They developed a Moodle plug-in that provides a reports dashboard, bringing together all previous feedback.
Ipsative Assessment: book by Gwyneth, published by Palgrave