ALT.A. Initiative: Exploring Role Inversion in a Evaluative Environment

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The ALTernative Assessment initiative (ALT.A.) aims to experiment with an enriched examination model, consisting of a traditional examination pattern and an alternative one, based on a change on the output to be evaluated (questions instead of answers). It is known that students' individual characteristics and learning styles are favoured by some methods over others. The use of multiple assessment methods can increase the reliability and validity of evidence used to determine whether or not students have achieved the intended learning outcomes. The role reversal of teacher and student is expected to create a friendlier environment and to reduce the evaluative pressure. ALT.A. takes inspiration explicitly from a model proposed by Bergman, in which “the students are required to formulate good questions (...) on areas determined by the examiner” (1). This alternative exam follows a similar pattern. It is made up of a set of questions that are to be formulated by students on specific topics from their course program. Objects of assessment are: the students’ ability to match the given subject, their capability to reason using a multidisciplinary perspective, their aptitude for linking different topics in a systemic manner and the pertinence of terminology and comprehensibility of questions. This paper reports on the starting phase of the experimental project ALT.A. (ALTernative Assessment) initiative, presents results from the power test and gets feedback from academics and scientific community.

(1) Bergman, B., (2005) Interactive assessment – A new element in the examination process. Proceedings of QMOD 2005, 29 June-1 July 2005 Palermo, pp. 959-966


Keywords: Mixed Assessment, Examination Process, Role Inversion
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: , , , , The Alternative Assessment Experiment


Elena Ciancimino

Ph.D. student, Inter-Departmental Research Centre on Economic and Technology Planning
Faculty of Engineering, University of Palermo

Palermo, Italy

Current position: Ph.D. student in ‘Sustainability, Quality, Safety and Logistic Management’, Department of Management Engineering, University of Palermo. Born in 1980, she graduated from University of Palermo in 2005, First class Honours Degree with distinction in Management Engineering. She has been visiting student at Edena (Buenos Aires), member of WorldWide Classroom Consortium for International Education & Multicultural Studies. Between 2005 and 2006, she has been awarded a grant to perform an internship at the international department of Ingeniería de Protección Ambiental (Sevilla), within the EU Leonardo Da Vinci Programme. Since March 2006 she is an engineering fellow at ISMETT (Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies), Tissue & Stem Cells Laboratory project.

Salvatore Cannella

Ph.D student, Inter-Departmental Research Centre on Economic and Technology Planning
Faculty of Engineering, University of Palermo

Palermo, Italy

Born in 1980, Salvatore Cannella holds a master’s degree in Management Engineering from the University of Palermo, 2005. Since 2004 he has been committed to several international cooperation research projects, sponsored by the EU Socrates II programme, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MIUR), the Spanish Ministry of Technology and Science (MCT). He is member of Production Engineering Research workGroup (PERGROUP). His research is focusing on bullwhip effect reducing approaches, replenishment rules issues, system dynamics methodology and what-if simulation in operations management. Salvatore has promoted and carried out the “Cultural Co-operation Framework Agreement” between the Università degli studi di Palermo and the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá. In 2006 he performed a training stage at Embassy of Italy in Panama under the provisions set forth by agreement between the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Italian University (CRUI/MAE internship programme).
He is now Ph.D. student in "Sustainability, Quality, Safety and Logistic Management" at Inter-Departmental Research Center on Economic and Technology Planning (C.I.R.P.I.E.T.) of the University of Palermo, and visiting at Department of Industrial Management, High School of Engineering, University of Seville, Spain.

Ref: L08P0067