Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology
Sara King,
Delia Wakelin,
Julie Seed,
Anita Navin,
Vicki Oley,
Tom Heffernan,
Lynn McInnes,
Melanie Mitchell,
Colin Hamilton,
Greta Defeyter,
School of Psychology & Sports Sciences, Northumbria University,
Newcastle upon Tyne,


The HEFCE funded Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Northumbria University provided funding for staff from the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences (a core subject area of the CETL), to conduct a range of projects related to assessment for learning (the CETL focus). This initiative has enabled staff across the school to engage in teaching and learning research, and through internal dissemination events, to share their findings and experiences.

The following projects will be showcased in the poster and further outcomes provided for the conference:

Student diversity: implications for assessment. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of students presenting with mild or moderate health problems, which may result in implications for assessment. For instance students with anxiety issues may respond to multiple choice questions by being ‘conservative’ in their response style and disadvantaging themselves, with the consequence that marks obtained from such assessments may well not reflect underlying knowledge of the topic area. This project sought to assess the suitability of current assessment methods for students with a range of mental health difficulties, such as anxiety.

Assessment criteria and feedback. This project aimed to identify how students use assessment criteria when preparing for exams or writing assessments. This information was then used to provide suggestions for best practice guidelines on assessment criteria and student feedback, with the aim of providing good quality student feedback without increasing the workload of academic staff.

Links between marking criteria and success on an examination essay answer – how it’s judged and marked. What criteria are most important when judging an essay in an examination essay answer? There are a range of criteria used to judge and mark an examination essay and this study asked participants to judge how important criteria were in assigning a mark to an exam.

Psychology students’ views of employability. Previous research has identified several transferable skills that represent the notion of ‘employability’ for graduates of psychology. This study investigated the extent to which final year undergraduate students feel that they possess such skills and the extent to which they would like to possess them. The study offered an opportunity to evaluate the validity of the employer and academic-perspective based research by collecting student impressions of the importance of each skill, and offers an opportunity to engage students in further discussion of how assessment may enhance and facilitate the development of such skills.

Space, pace and saving face. Recently, many in the field of communication have called for more opportunities for students to learn speaking skills in their major disciplines. In psychology, one of the primary modes of oral communication is the research presentation. This research aimed to assess the effectiveness of providing second year students workshops on oral presentation skills. Findings included generally positive student feedback in terms of modeling oral presentations, peer review, and to opportunity to assess an international guest speaker.

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© 2008 Victor Karandashev