Who am I writing for? Potential and problems of writer roles in assessment tasks

Assessment tasks are a potential means to integrate the development of graduate attributes within the disciplines, since they can provide students with the opportunity to adopt a range of academic and professional identities, and to apply what they have learnt in ways that will prepare them for their future professional roles. Taking as a starting point the framework for the analysis of assessment tasks outlined by Tim Moore and Brett Hough, in this paper I look at current practice in a number of Business and Economics disciplines, firstly to see what range of tasks and possible roles are drawn on, and secondly to identify some implications for LAS advisers in dealing with such tasks. I have analysed a sample of 20 2nd and 3rd year assignment tasks in Business and Economics subjects, looking at authorship, role/status, genre, mode, discipline and audience. In this paper I focus on those tasks that assigned an expert/professional role to the student and discuss some potential problems related to the contextualisation of the question, the framing of the instructions, and the possibility of conflict between the authorial stances of professional and student. For LAS advisers working with tasks of this sort, it is important to know what knowledge the student needs to carry out the task and where that knowledge comes from; they are also uniquely positioned to give feedback to faculty teaching staff on students’ representations of the tasks.

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Pinder, Jan
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Critiquing and reflecting: LAS profession and Practice. Non-refereed Proceedings from the National Biennial Conference, ANU, Canberra
Milnes, Stephen
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