Assessment in pi LVs (courses with continuous assessment)

Heidi Niederkofler

November 2020, English version September 2022

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0. Introduction: Benefits and Challenges

Courses with continuous assessment ("prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen" or in the following "pi LVs") allow teachers greater freedom in course design than those with non-continuous assessment ("nicht-prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltungen" or npi LVs, which are mainly lectures). Typical pi LVs include exercise courses, proseminars, excursions, seminars, lab classes, etc. Generally they are more interactive than lecture courses, and they allow a wide range of instructional strategies and techniques. Therefore, pi LVs are suited for complex student learning outcomes, such as applying methods, analysing sources, texts, and other material, as well as developing research designs. "Partial achievements," specific to pi LVs, i.e. tasks that count toward the final grade (such as homework, assignments, quizzes etc.) allow teachers to guide their students in their step-by-step development of competencies and to provide direction through feedback where necessary. Overall, class size in pi LVs is usually smaller, which allows immediate and nuanced support for all students.

Courses with continuous assessment are challenging as well: While legal and curricular regulations allow teachers considerable freedom of instructional design, they may lead to uncertainty and lack of clarity at the same time. Student learning outcomes in pi LVs can be quite demanding, which can lead to challenging teaching/learning settings, e.g. when teachers have to make decisions about the appropriate design and assessment of teaching/learning activities and of partial achievements.

Recommended citation

Niederkofler, Heidi: Assessment in pi LVs (courses with continuous assessment). Introduction: Benefits and Challenges. Infopool better teaching. Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Vienna, September 2022. []

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