In our annual position paper for 2021 we delved into teasing apart and unpacking the relationship between assessments and wellbeing. In doing so, we sought to identify the long-lasting impact in which highly stress inducing forms of assessments can have on learners. We also, and perhaps more importantly, demonstrated that assessments can align more harmoniously with wellbeing, and that alternative forms of assessment exist that offer a way forward.
Our paper at a glance:
* We outline the principles for a less stress and anxiety inducing conception of assessments, more in tune with research. To this end, we recognise the importance of rethinking assessments, and the need to centre wellbeing. In our paper we propose a set of practical assessment alternatives and showcase how and in what ways these can shift assessments to be more conducive to wellbeing.
* The claim that highly stressful assessments prepare learners for the so-called ‘real world’ is empirically ambiguous, and based more on fiction than fact.
* The relationship between assessment and wellbeing demands attention. Research shows that for many – assessment practices continue to be marked by high levels of stress and anxiety.
* A review of key studies suggest that the impact of highly stress and anxiety inducing assessment practices on learners is far reaching: negatively impacting wellbeing, reducing learning capacity, as well as acting as a catalyst for dissuading individuals from pursuing learning opportunities in the future.
Click here to download the paper in full.