Maynooth Education Forum - 24 June 2016

Dismantling 'The Murder Machine'? - Interrogating Cultures of Assessment

In this centenary year, strategists, policy makers, researchers, practitoners in education and interested parties from all parts of the system gathered to review assessment across the transitions through the prism of Padraig Pearse’s 'Murder Machine.'

Read the Forum Report: 


Speaker presentations


Dismantling 'The Murder Machine'? - Interrogating Cultures of Assessment


8:45 am Coffee and registration
9:15 am Welcome & Opening Address
Prof Philip Nolan, President, Maynooth University
9:30 am

9:35 am
10:15 am

Session One: Assessment systems as cultural scripts: reflections
on assessment in shifting social and educational contexts

Chair: Hugh McManus, State Examinations Commission
Keynote: Prof Jannette Elwood, Queen's University Belfast
Plenary session

11.00 am Coffee
11:15 am
11:20 am
12:00 pm
Session Two: Restoring Teacher Judgement: the key to quality assessment practices
Chair: Dr Pádraig Kirk, CPD for Junior Cycle, Department of Education and Skills
Keynote: Prof Val Klenowski, Queensland University of Technology
Plenary session
12.45 pm Case Study/Vox Pops 
1:00 pm Lunch
2:15 pm Case Study/Vox Pops
2:30 pm
2:35 pm
3:15 pm
Session Three: Developing course climates for sustainable feedback
Chair: Dr Alison Hood, Maynooth University 
Keynote: Prof David Carless, University of Hong Kong
Plenary session
3:55 pm Health Break
4:00 pm
Session Four: Cultures of Assessment - where to next  
Chair: Dr Anne Looney, NCCA
Facilitated plenary session gathering feedback from delegates
4:30 pm
Forum Reception
6.00 pm Close


Speaker Biographies

David Carless is Professor of Educational Assessment and Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. His research interests relate to the relationship between assessment and student learning in higher education; sustainable feedback; and the dialogic use of exemplars to illustrate dimensions of quality.

Recent publications include ‘Excellence in University Assessment: Learning from award-winning practice’ (London: Routledge, 2015) and ‘Reconceptualising feedback in higher education: Developing dialogue with students’ (London: Routledge, 2013) co-edited with S Merry, M Price, and M Taras.

Jannette Elwood Jannette Elwood is Professor of Education and Director of the Doctoral Research Centre in the School of Education at Queen’s University Belfast.  She has worked in the field of educational assessment across research, policy and educational arenas and her research has been funded by national charities, research councils and government departments.  She is an executive editor for the journal Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice.
Her main research interests are in the social constructions and consequences of tests, examinations and assessment practices. She is particularly interested in socio-cultural approaches to understanding the impact of assessment on students' lives; gender and its interaction with assessment techniques and practices and theoretical and methodological issues in educational assessment research and practice.

Recent publications include ‘Predictability in high-stakes examinations: students' perspectives on a perennial assessment dilemma’ (Research Papers in Education, 2015) co-authored with T Hopfenback and J Baird and ‘Assessment systems as cultural scripts: a sociocultural theoretical lens on assessment practice and products’ (Assessment in Education, 2015) co-authored with Patricia Murphy.

Val Klenowski is Professor of Education at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.  Her research interests are in classroom assessment and learning across the sectors, curriculum reform and development and evaluation. She has published extensively on classroom assessment, equity and the use of portfolios for learning and assessment.  She has worked internationally in Hong Kong at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and in England at the Institute of Education, University of London.  She is a visiting professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang University, Singapore and the University of Bristol, England.

Her recent publications include the following books: 'Assessment for Education: Standards, Judgement and Moderation' (2014), 'Designing Assessment for Quality Learning' (2014) and 'International Teacher Judgement Practices' (2016).