Berry O’Donovan

Berry O’Donovan is a Principal Lecturer Student Experience in the faculty of Business at Oxford Brookes. She researches and publishes on assessment and feedback and the intellectual development of management undergraduates, and has been centrally involved in the bidding for and implementation of many externally funded projects, including the £4.5 million ASKe Centre for Excellence. Berry describes herself as a ‘bundled’ academic who is involved in research, teaching and project management. Her teaching centres on compulsory introductory and capstone joint-honours modules with a focus on synoptic learning in business and management. She leads a cross-institutional project on student engagement and externally leads a development programme for Directors of Teaching and Learning (Associate Deans) for the UK’s Association of Business Schools.

On BeJLT by Berry O’Donovan:


ASKe Manifesto seven years on: so what did change?

Assessment continues to be a major challenge to institutions around the world. A challenge in terms of student satisfaction, a challenge in terms of resourcing (there are few economies of scale in assessment (Gibbs 2006) and a challenge in terms of transparency, reliability and validity to name but a few. One of the major problems is that there are very varied levels of understanding of assessment and its processes among stakeholders. This is unsurprising given the complex nature of assessment but it causes difficulties and unintended consequences especially when lack of understanding is found among all stakeholder groups: students, staff, management, quality assurance experts, government. If we are going to meet the challenges we face, the assessment literacy (see Price et al, 2012) of all these groups needs to improve.

As detailed in the original BeJLT paper (Price et al 2008) ASKe brought together a group of international assessment experts to envisage a new future for assessment; the result was the ASKe Assessment Manifesto. Through the Manifesto we hoped to stimulate debate across the sector and, by implication, influence ways of thinking about and practising assessment. So what happened? This paper will reflect on the impact of the Manifesto both locally and in terms of its reach beyond the institution, as well as considering its continued relevance.

Posted in Academic Paper

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