Introducing simple authentic assessment tasks as a transition pathway for first-year students into the building discipline

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Cleary, Kaye ORCID: 0000-0002-9003-5084 and Li, Mengbi ORCID: 0000-0001-7499-8940 Introducing simple authentic assessment tasks as a transition pathway for first-year students into the building discipline. In: HERDSA Conference: (Re)Valuing Higher Education, 2 Jul 2018 - 5 Jul 2018, Adelaide.


Most students enter university-level building studies without a clear pathway of study identified in their secondary school. For this reason, they often start university programs with a narrow understanding of the profession both as it is now, and how it may evolve for the importance of career clarity is well established, and remains as a significant key to motivating learning in today’s higher education.[1] The 2018 HERDSA Conference continues interest in this facet of learning stimulus by prompting us as educators to develop an accessible pathways to enable effective transitions. Previous research shows that an early awareness established during junior years of higher education is significant for retention and achievements upon graduation.[2] A challenge for academics is to effectively convey the diversity of practice and to provide a hook to engage first-year students’ passion in learning that will be relevant when they graduate. Based on limited research investigating approaches to establish transition pathways for firstyear students by developing an individual career vision, our response was to design a course that all building students study as the first in their program.[3] This course is a vehicle to begin scaffolding student transition from a secondary school student to becoming a dynamic, multifaceted building professional upon their graduation. As their first assignment, students make a video sharing their understanding of the discipline, and look ahead to how they see themselves as professionals following graduation. This introductory activity provides a base from which academics can construct a more diverse picture of professional opportunities and students can extend their conceptualisation of opportunities. After this first assignment, students engage in a single simple project mirroring an authentic work task that extends across the remainder of the teaching period. This elongated period allows students to implement a simplified version of the professional role that they are particularly interested in. At the end of the teaching period, students reflect upon how they operated as a team and how they responded to challenges that arose through sustained group work. Students conclude by reviewing their own and the group’s performance through peer evaluation of each members’ engagement, cooperation, workload and project management capability. In addition, each student reflects on whether s/he consciously strengthened specific capabilities for a future career as initially planned at start of the teaching period.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Current > Division/Research > PVC Students and Learning and Teaching
Keywords peer evaluation ; sustained group work ; capabilities ; career ; building studies ; higher education ; conceptualisation ; opportunities
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