Improving learning by improving what is assessed:
Students as goal chasers
What I will argue in this address is that if students are to engage in goal-oriented learning, they need to know what the goal is. Only then can they orchestrate everything within their control – their prior knowledge, personal talent, effort, time and resources – to pursue. This is a neglected area of research, although it is implicit in a lot of the work done on giving students access to models and exemplars. Having an initially fuzzy conception of the goal is both common and unproblematic provided students can work towards progressively clarifying the goal as they go. Academic teachers have substantial obligations for conveying important academic and professional goals in higher education, particularly at the course level. These obligations include introducing students to a variety of ‘response genres’, holding them to produce work of an adequate standard, and providing them with experiences of success.