Description of Good Assessment Practice

Title: Dr
Name: Michael Chau
Academic Position: Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer in UK or NZ)
Name of Institution: University of Hong Kong
Country: Hong Kong
Discipline: Business & Economics
Department/School: Business
Course title: Information Systems Project Management
Course code: BUSI0061
Class size: 21-40
Course Year: Year 3
Assessment Title: Interim Presentation and Bi-weekly Discussion for Assessment and Feedback
Assessment Type: Both
Time allowed for assessment:
Target: Assessment of group work
Learning outcomes of the assessment practice: Learning Outcome 1: Describe the success factors of IS project planning, design, development, assessment, and quality assurance.

Learning Outcome 2: Work effectively in IS project and contribute as a client, project team member or leader.

Learning Outcome 3: Communicate effectively in both languages of end-users and technical personnel in order to successfully deliver an IS project.

Learning Outcome 4: Apply the best practices around the globe of effective IS project management.
Key features and principles of the assessment practice: 1) Group-based project (80%)

Students have to work in groups to identify a business problem in which an information system will be designed and implemented. The project output can be in the form of a database, a web application or a mobile application.

In terms of group assessment (40%), students have to do 3 presentations, one proposal presentation, one interim presentation and one final presentation. They are also required to submit a project report at the end of the semester.

In terms of individual assessment (40%), each student will have to submit an individual reflection report. Peer evaluation is also part of the individual assessment. A peer evaluation form was given to students for them to write down the role of each individual member in the team, what they have contributed and their percentage of contribution. As for the self-reflection report, students are expected to report on what they are responsible for in the project, what they learnt and the project management principles that they managed to apply.

Biweekly discussion sessions were conducted with each group to provide feedback and suggestions. In addition to giving oral feedback during the discussion meetings, written (electronic) feedback will also be given if students email their questions to the lecturer. Feedback for the presentations will be given orally on the spot and via email.

2) Class participation (20%)

Class participation will be assessed based on both participation inside classroom (in-class discussion) and outside classroom (online discussion).

The project and class participation are graded using the following criteria:
1) A+, A, A- : demonstrate a clear understanding of and high ability to apply the theory, concepts and issues relating to the topic
2) B+, B, B-: demonstrate a good understanding and some application of the theory, concepts and issues relating to the topic
3) C+, C, C-: demonstrate a good understanding of the theory, concepts and issues relating to the topic but limited application relating to the topic
4) D+, D: demonstrate mainly description showing basic understanding of the topic but no application
5) F: demonstrate limited understanding of the topic and draw conclusions unrelated to the topic


In information systems (IS) project management, there is often a need for improvement after developing a system when the client or the user is not satisfied with it. The interim presentation serves a similar purpose, such that it provides an opportunity for students to present their prototype and to receive feedback from their peers and instructor on areas for improvement. The biweekly meetings also provide opportunities for the instructor to give formative feedback to students.
What are the best things about this assessment method? Especially for students who are more outspoken or always turn up for classes, one may think that they contributed more, but in fact, they may have made little contribution. Thus, the peer evaluation is important to help address the problem of free-riders. The self-reflection report allows students to seriously think about the lessons learnt from the experience.
What are the challenges in implementing this assessment method? Assessment in this course is unlike multiple choice questions (MCQs), with right or wrong answer. Although there are some criteria for judging whether a project is well done or not, those criteria tend to be subjective.

Through looking at the self-reflection report or peer evaluation, it is still difficult to see precisely how much effort students put in, unless the instructor sits down with the students and gets involved in their project most of the time. It is also easier for students to argue, especially when they get a bad grade for their final assessment.

One of the challenges of using peer evaluation is that students have team spirit, so they may not give their classmates an evaluation which is too bad.
What do your students think about this assessment method? (Any evaluation?)
Plans for changes/developments in future (if any): There are plans to create a rubric for peer evaluation and for the assessment of the presentation to make the assessment more transparent.
Creation date: 2015-10-15 12:28:31