Digitally Enhanced Patchwork Text Assessment  (DPTA)

Patchwork Text Assessment

This project will develop the use and effectiveness of digitally supported patchwork text assessments in a range of traditional academic subjects within different Higher Education Institutions (HEI)

This project will develop and evaluate the ‘Patchwork Text’ Assessment (PTA) approach within a range of traditional disciplines in terms of its practicability (both in terms of staff workload and institutional technological resources) and capacity to enhance and evidence student learning. Academic staff and those who support them in enhancing learning and assessment are the community addressed. 

The concept of the Patchwork Text Assessment is defined as a ‘cumulative, multi-voiced text resulting in a structurally unified reflective synthesis’.

The idea stems from a project run between the universities of Anglia Polytechnic, Nottingham Trent and Cambridge that ended in 2003. PTAs represent diverse evidence for the learning that has taken place, articulated through a reflective overview. Typically students select ‘patches’ from the various learning tasks they have undertaken, choosing those which best evidence the skills, knowledge and understanding gained. Peer and formative feedback, and the learner’s response to such feedback, is an integral part of each patch.

DPTA Aims and Objectives

The project is hosted by Cumbria University working collaboratively with the Universities of Bedfordshire, Derby, Liverpool, Wolverhampton and The Centre for Recording Achievement (CRA). What is different with this project is that it is based in the level 6 curriculum and in discipline areas previously under represented in ePortfolio based learning. The work Wolverhampton and Bedfordshire is based in Psychology, Cumbria in photography, Liverpool in either archaeology or physics and Derby potentially in Law.

The project aims are to:

  1. Demonstrate the relevance and utility of the Patchwork Text approach within a range of institutions and subject disciplines, using different learning technologies.
  2. Identify and highlight the functionality required in the digital environment to maximise the benefits of such an approach for staff and students.

The main objectives are to:

  • Utilise technologies that are readily available within participating Higher Education Institutions, thereby identifying key functionalities and threshold requirements and for the effective implementation of patchwork text assessment digitally (a key requirement for effective dissemination and take up in a resource constrained sector); 
  • Extend the use of e-assessment into undeveloped areas, identifying guidance and support needs for those new to this practice to develop confidence and skills in designing and implementing contextually-specific patchwork text assignments;
  • Evaluate the extent to which the scope of PTA assessment can be extended to embrace subject benchmarks and graduate skills, in particular difficult to demonstrate attributes where evidence needs to be captured from learning processes as well as products;
  • Disseminate findings through workshop activities, the CRA member community and via the CRA website.