15 February 2017, Sally Baker and Jackie Tuck

Risky regimes: the assessment of student writing in institutional contexts

Dr Sally Baker (University of Newcastle, Australia)- profile

Dr Jackie Tuck (The Open University, UK) – profile

SBaker and JTuck_presentation_Feb2017


Sally Baker and Jackie Tuck

Although empirical attention to the complex web of issues that constitute ‘students’ literacies in higher education’ has grown, little has changed in terms of institutional approaches to viewing, framing and assessing writing. Given that writing is the dominant form for assessing learning in most disciplines, there remains an urgent imperative to examine what issues are at play when it comes to assessing students’ reading and writing for university study. The academic literacies conceptual approach (Lea & Street, 1998; Lillis, 2008) works from a view of literacy as social practice, and research that adopts this theoretical and methodological frame is able to focus a critical gaze on the sociocultural contexts of production, process and practice. 

This co-presentation will draw from two separate, but related, research projects informed by the academic literacies frame to discuss the assessment of students’ writing  from contrasting perspectives: the first presentation will examine how students’ adapted to and understood assessment in the context of their transitions into university literacies, while the second will explore assessment from the standpoint of the lecturer. From examining the intersections and dissonance between the two perspectives, this presentation will offer a holistic view of how assessment impacts the ‘work’ of students and lecturers in the academy.