The performative turn in the assessment of student learning: a rights perspective

Bruce Macfarlane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
273 Downloads (Pure)


Active learning and group-based processes in higher education are central to student engagement strategies. Forms of assessment regarded as evidencing student engagement, including attendance, class participation grading and group-based projects, have become commonplace in the university curriculum on an international basis. Whilst the literature has focused on evaluating such forms of assessment in terms of learning gain, analysis of their impact from a student rights perspective has been largely overlooked. This paper will analyse student perspectives of three forms of assessment entailing the measurement of observable student attitudes and behaviour: attendance, class participation and group work grading. The evidence from a survey of undergraduates based in a Hong Kong university suggests that the majority of students are concerned about whether such practices are appropriate and fair, potentially undermining their freedom of choice to learn as adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2016

Structured keywords

  • SoE Centre for Higher Education Transformations


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