Good Practices: Use Them to Illustrate Your Expectations

Showing good practices (of e.g. papers) in class can lead to significant learning gains for students. What is the role of these good practices? What exactly are good practices? And what are the points to consider when using good practices? The education tip below will provide an answer to these questions. 

What are Good Practices? 

Good practices are practical examples by means of which you can illustrate your expectations e.g. when setting them an assignment. Good practices can take many different forms, e.g. highly marked Master's dissertations, highly marked model answers to exam questions, a video recording of an excellent presentation, etc... . There is a wide variety of options available to you. 

Good practices can have different functions. On the one hand, they indicate what it is you want your students to achieve. They are a way to make clear to them your expectations, and to make sure that students do not underestimate the exam or assignment. Good practices give students an idea of what form an assignment can take and what kind of content it can contain. 

Points to Consider 

Avoid Curtailing Creativity 

Provide a variety of good practices with considerable difference among themselves in order to avoid students from copying the examples. Clearly point out that looking at something from an entirely new perspective might add to excellence, and can turn something into a good practice. Also announce that creativity is one of the criteria you assess, in which case, of course, it is necessary to include it in the final learning outcomes on the course sheet.   

Include Your Own Course Material in a Good Practice 

In addition to showing good practices, it is important that you yourself embody the competencies you aim to pursue. For example, make sure that your syllabus is up to par, that your slides are properly structured way, etc... . In addition, be an example when it comes to more attitude-oriented matters: if you expect your students to plan their work and respect the deadlines, make sure that you offer your course units in a structured way, that you stick to your schedule as much as possible and that you communicate about it systematically. 

Want to Know More? 

  • Scoles, J, ; Huxham, M &; McArthur, J. (2014)  No longer exempt from good practice: using exemplars to close the feedback gap for exams. ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION, Volume:38, nr. 6, pp. 631-645. 

Last modified April 23, 2021, 12:13 p.m.