Assessment and student formation: assessment as a matter of being and becoming

Juuso Henrik Nieminen, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong and Banting Fellow at Ontario Tech Universit

Lili Yang, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

29th November – 1pm UK Time

Register Here

When students enter higher education, they not only start learning and studying but begin a journey of becoming someone new in relation to themselves and to society. Scholarly research has increasingly emphasised this transformative element of higher education yet, to date, the role of assessment has received little attention in the questions of being and becoming. This is a crucial limitation given how profoundly assessment – exams, self- and peer-assessment, grades, rankings, metrics – characterises contemporary higher education.

This talk introduces our theorisation of assessment as a matter of being and becoming. We bring together the separate fields of research on assessment and the philosophy of higher education by theorising other-formation and self-formation in and through assessment encounters. First, we discuss how assessment shapes students in ‘the measured university’ (other-formation). We then reconceptualise assessment from the viewpoint of how it promotes student agency and self-reflexivity (self-formation).

This interactive seminar builds on our recent publication yet reaches beyond the already published knowledge by starting a conversation. The participants are asked to apply our theoretical ideas in their own contexts. Together, we will discuss how other- and self-assessment could be harmonised in assessment in higher education.

Bio texts

Juuso Henrik Nieminen is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong and a Banting Fellow at Ontario Tech University, Canada. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE), Deakin University, Australia, and an Adjunct Professor (Docent) at the University of Eastern Finland. Juuso studies the social, cultural and political aspects of assessment. He is particularly interested in how assessment shapes the student subject in higher education. Juuso has also studied the matters of inclusion, diversity and social justice in assessment.

Lili Yang is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Education, the University of Hong Kong. She has strong interests in cross-cultural (especially Eastern-Western) comparison in higher education. More broadly, her research interests include higher education, comparative and international education, global science, and educational and political philosophy. Previously, Lili was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, where she also received her DPhil in Education. Her new book is titled ‘Higher Education, State and Society: Comparing the Chinese and Anglo-American Approaches’ (Bloomsbury, 2022).