The development of the approach to assessment and certification of the students participating in the ESSA project draws on principles of reflective and experiential learning. The assessment and certification process is tightly integrated with the ESSA student learning journey:
The assessment approach covers both the Auditor Training Programme and the institutional audits. The ESSA students receive the training to develop their skills and knowledge in social responsibility auditing to then apply, refine and develop their competences through undertaking an audit of a higher education institution. On successful completion of the training and audit, the students are awarded 5 European Credit Transfer Scheme (ECTS) credits at European Qualification Framework (EQF) Level 6. So far on the project, 20 students have successfully completed the course.
Based on this reflective experiential learning approach, the assessment framework has been realised as a structured e-portfolio system that has been built using PebblePad. The e-portfolio includes detailed instructions and guidance on demonstrating learning, knowledge and understanding. The detailed rubrics and criteria used in grading the portfolios are available to students making the assessment process fully transparent to participants. The e-portfolio supports the students’ abilities in applying and critiquing knowledge as theories, models and practices of social responsibility auditing while also enabling students to validate and justify their claims for learning and competence. This approach to assessment helps students surface the sort of transferable graduate attributes than enhance their employability in a very tangible way.
Through participation in the project, 70% of the students feel very confident to act as social responsibility auditors and 100% feel that their university could learn from this approach to student learning.