Four different assessment practices: how university teachers handle the field of tension between professional responsibility and professional accountability.

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Date: June 2021
From: Higher Education(Vol. 81, Issue 6)
Publisher: Springer
Document Type: Report
Length: 8,141 words
Lexile Measure: 1320L

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Abstract :

Various efforts have been made in higher education in Sweden to meet the demand for more transparent governance and increased efficiency and quality. The purpose of this article is to investigate how university teachers handle standardized models for assessment and examination and orientate in this field of tension between professional responsibility and professional accountability. This study examines school-based courses in teacher education programs at a university and is based on observations from 20 seminars, 10 interviews with university teachers, and 11 focus group interviews with 55 students. The results show that university teachers interpret governing documents in different ways leading to a lack of equivalence. Within one course, four assessment practices are identified: governance as confirmation, governance with need for reinforcement, governance as distrust, and governance as others' responsibility. This study reveals the variation in university teachers' professional assessment practices that challenge and interplay with the context of a curriculum in different ways. Aspects of the university teachers' professional obligation are under tension in the context of a more pronounced accountability. University teachers' professional assessment practices emerges as fragmented in terms of what professional responsibility includes and what professional discretion involves.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662708640