This book brings together recent developments in thinking about assessment and feedback in university education written by international experts in this field and is devised as a tribute to Professor Dai Hounsell, whose research in this field has been of international importance and influence. Dai has not only contributed to the research on assessment and feedback, but has, over the years, been actively involved in working with colleagues to find ways of improving practice. This book reflects these two aspects. It has been organised into four parts, focusing, first, on the broader view of the nature and purposes of assessment in higher education and, second, on how students perceive their experiences of assessment and feedback, before considering how assessment may have to be reconceptualised, in order to match the demands of university education in the twenty-first century. The final part looks more directly at the implications for practice through discussion of recent innovations in assessment. Most of the authors were able to reflect on some aspect of Dai's academic experience and research, which is wide-ranging and has had significant international impact.
Dai Hounsell's Main Contributions to Research and Academic Development
An important formative period in Dai's involvement in this research area began when he was appointed information and research officer at Lancaster University in 1972. The post initially had an emphasis on informing academic staff about recent developments in the theory and practice of university teaching, but his work led him to develop a research role – in particular, through organising and participating in a series of international conferences that focused on new research in teaching and learning at a time when this field was still relatively undeveloped. These conferences brought together researchers from different countries and one in particular led to the publication of The Experience of Learning, co-edited by Dai. This involvement in, and organisation of, the series of conferences also enabled a sabbatical year with Ference Marton in Gothenburg to imbibe the ideas and atmosphere of an influential research group and later to see first-hand the work of the Tertiary Education Institute at the University of Queensland.
While at Lancaster, he also became involved in a major United Kingdom (UK) Social Science Research Council programme on how students learn, which had international impact.