Special Seminar Series | University Assessment: Why it drives us….crazy! (WFE Hours available) - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

Student news

Special Seminar Series | University Assessment: Why it drives us….crazy! (WFE Hours available)

13 Aug 2021

Does university assessment cause you stress? Have you ever experienced strong positive or negative emotions when you read feedback on your assessment tasks? Do lecturers listen when you provide feedback on course assessment? Why does university assessment drive us – crazy? The School of Education and Tertiary Access is hosting a special seminar series of three lectures focused explicitly on how university assessment and feedback impacts both students and lecturers.

How will this seminar series assist me in my future profession?

Most, if not all, educational contexts rely on assessment to make judgements on a range of factors from teaching performance to curriculum decisions to overall learning outcomes. Originally derived from Latin and then French, “to assess” means to evaluate or estimate the nature, ability or quality of something. Within this definition lies the reality that when we assess we do so subjectively in the main and objectively in desire. It is the subjective nature of assessment that can present an array of negative emotions for both those who are assessed and those who do the assessing, but this doesn’t need to be the undoing of us. This seminar series looks at challenges associated with assessment and provides a framework for understanding how to assess and offer feedback in a way that mediates its capacity to drive us…crazy or otherwise!

Tuesday 24 August | Seminar 1: The pain of assessment and feedback

The first seminar, conducted by Associate Professor Michael Nagel, looks at the connections between learning, thinking and feedback. Dr Nagel will explore the inner workings of the mind and how the emotional brain can both inform and impair feedback.

Tuesday 31 August | Seminar 2: Why is assessment feedback so personal?

In the second seminar, Dr Alison Willis takes us on a journey of inquiry into why assessment is so personal, how it impacts our sense of worth, and what we can do to grow our capacity to give and receive healthy feedback.

Tuesday 7 September | Seminar 3: Assessment Feedback – We hear but don't listen

In the third seminar, Dr Peter Grainger describes historical challenges faced as a result of the assessing process, from two different stakeholder perspectives, the assessor and the student. He concludes with some possible solutions as a way forward through the minefield that is inherent when people assess people.

Tuesday 14 September | Seminar 4: What can be done to mitigate the impact of stress and anxiety on our bodies, minds and emotions?

In the final seminar, Dr Shelley Davidow, (a certified HeartMath coach) provides practical tools and real-time techniques to manage the before, during and after assessment phases. Generating a state of ‘high coherence’ predicts improved cognitive (academic), emotional and physical outcomes. Shelley Davidow, Senior Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagory, is an international author and educator. With an interest in social justice and transformative pedagogies her research focuses on stress and children, teaching literacy through creative writing and decolonising the classroom through arts.

Where will they be held?

The three lectures will be in:

  • Lecture Theatre 7 (LT7), USC Sunshine Coast campus
  • 2-3pm
  • The series will NOT be recorded 
Additional info for Education students

This series offers important professional development for future teachers and a certificate of attendance will be provided to all students who attend and/or view all three lectures. This series also offers WFE hours that will be awarded for eligible Education students.

Registration info

Register for Seminar 1 on Tuesday 24 August.

Register for Seminar 2 on Tuesday 31 August.

Register for Seminar 3 on Tuesday 7 September.

Register for Seminar 4 on Tuesday 14 September.