Roundtable: Assessing student learning: Using interdisciplinary synergies to develop good teaching and assessment practice
Sydney Masonic Centre
Tuesday September 4, 2007
Title: Exploring assessment issues in ‘common learning approaches’ developed for the Faculty of Health Science
Author: Jo Osborne
Faculty of Health Science, University of Tasmania
What are the assessment challenges faced in an interdisciplinary learning environment and how can these be best met to benefit the student experience as well as meet institutional and professional requirements?
The UTAS Faculty of Health Science is adopting a flexible approach to sharing curriculum content across its professional courses, initially for the introduction of emerging health issues and demographic trends. This ‘common learning approach’ can be characterized as different models for providing common curriculum content across the health disciplines to achieve Faculty objectives of: increasing teaching and learning efficiency in a climate of expansion in course offerings; and, where this can logically be included: improving opportunities for inter-disciplinary learning (i.e. teamwork activity and improved understanding across the disciplines modelling inter-professional practice in primary health care).
As the common learning approach is a new focus in the Faculty some implications for assessment are yet to be explored. Questions outstanding include: When a curriculum resource is shared, how will different disciplines interpret and assess a common learning outcome, and could this have application for inter-professional learning? How do different disciplines define and assess concepts such as ‘professionalism’ and ‘inter-professional activity’? If these competencies are assessed in an inter-disciplinary context, should their different professional roles affect assessment expectations?
Keywords: interdisciplinary assessment, common learning outcomes, curriculum alignment