Transparency in assessment criterion and the role of continuous feedback: towards mechanical learning or vice versa?

A Mathematics Education Group Research Seminar Series presented by Laura Tuohilampi, Associate Professor in mathematics education, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Many research have shown that transparency in assessment criterion, as well as continuous feedback, support learning. In a project implemented in the Mathematics department in the University of Helsinki, these two factors are seen as a form to elicit deeper and more complex thinking. However, some researchers have claimed that too much transparency could lead to instrumentalization. In that case the students might just superficially follow the criterion, and use the continuous feedback to correct their performance instead of going deeper in their thinking. It has been found problematic to not provide students feedback, or to keep the assessment criterion unclarified. It was decided to investigate the desirable balance between too much or too little of transparency plus guiding feedback. In the presentation, Associate Professor Tuohilampi will describe the assessment-centred project in Helsinki, provide a tentative analysis of the data collected during the course, and elaborate the question: How did the assessment criterion and continuous feedback, combined with technology-based learning environment and tasks that support making connections affect students learning during the course?