A desire to improve assessment practices in her dentistry units led Associate Professor Millicent Taylor, to contact the Education Centre. With the support and customized feedback she received, her interest evolved into several research projects and she is now enrolled as a post graduate student in Health Professional Education.
A/Prof. Taylor reflects: “My initial contact with the EdCentre was prompted by a concern that assessment was having a detrimental effect on student learning. I was interested in alternatives and innovations and recognised a need for formative assessment and for giving students timely and appropriate feedback.”
“I was impressed with the collegiality and genuine interest the EdCentre had in improving teaching and student learning. Their generosity in sharing information and providing help enabled me to introduce changes in my units, which were Operative Dentistry (at the time); Integrated Dental Practice for year 4 students; Fundamentals of Clinical Dentistry for year 2 students. The EdCentre gave me practical guidelines, for example when to use self and peer assessment and assessment of procedural skills and using online modified essay questions.”
When asked whether her (style of) teaching had undergone any changes since her interaction with the EdCentre, A/Prof. Taylor replies: ”My teaching has definitely made a shift from teacher- to student-centred: I have introduced small group tutorials as well as interactive large group discussions in Integrated Dental Practice.”
“The new teaching and assessment methods to which I was introduced have had a significant impact”, acknowledges A/Prof. Taylor, “and I continue to re-evaluate my methods to stay current and improve student learning.”
It seems that A/Prof. Taylor has been successful in her mission: students nominated her for a faculty teaching award in 2008 in the category ‘individual teaching’, which she won.
For information on how to improve your assessment please email Assistant Professor Zarrin Siddiqui or Tel: (+61 8) 9346 4862.