OLRC Inspire: Ipsative Assessment with Dr Gwyneth Hughes

We were so lucky to be able to get Dr Gwyneth Hughes from UCL to come and speak to us about her work on Ipsative assessments in our 4th Inspire Event that held on Tuesday 29th January.  Inspire event ran as two sessions a talk followed by a workshop.

Assessment as we know is almost always criteria based to check whether a learner has achieved a level required.  These are important assessments to make sure that a person taking up an important job is at that competency level required for that job.

However, with this type of assessments it is almost impossible to stop one comparing themselves to others. If you are at the top end you will be motivated to do better but what happens if you are at the opposite end?

Ipsative assessment is a way to assess a learner based on where they started how much progress they have made in their learning journey. Gwyneth explained it with the example of  athlete having a ‘personal best’ and trying to break that in every game. Breaking your personal best is an achievement in your journey.  But it may or may not be enough to become the winner.

Ipsative assessments are used a lot in primary schools. Gwyneth argues that ipsative assessments are important to distance learners as motivational tool. You can hear more about this from the short video below where Gwyneth and Fiona Harvey, Director of Online Education at UCEM talks about ipsative assessments.

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