High-stress, invigilated exams are counter-productive to 21st century learning, according to RMIT Vietnam Vice President (Academic) Professor Beverley Webster.
“At RMIT Vietnam, students learn through real-world activities and are assessed in ways that mirror experiences they would have when out in industry,” Professor Webster shared.
“These assessments measure skills and application – not just tacit knowledge.”
RMIT Vietnam has been developing this next-level approach to higher education since 2016, redesigning learning and assessments around the vision of getting students Ready for Life and Work.
Professor Webster emphasised the importance of industry in making authentic assessment achievable.
“Our lecturers are well connected with industry and informed about current trends, so they can identify best practice in authentic learning and assessment,” Professor Webster noted.
The recent Mystery Shopping presentations by students in the Service Quality course are an example of the high level of support offered by industry.
School of Business & Management Lecturer Nguyen Anh Thu shared that she received a suggestion from TMGroup, Victoria Hotels and Resorts for her students to do a “mystery shopping” audit of the service quality at the popular hospitality brand’s Mekong Delta properties, including Victoria Can Tho, Victoria Chau Doc, Victoria Nui Sam and Victoria Cruises.
“It was a sixteen-week long project from the first proposal to the final presentation and assessment,” Ms Anh Thu explained.
“During two phases of the project, including mystery shopping and in-depth interviews, Victoria Hotels and Resorts supported us by offering accommodations and per diem for the students, and scheduled interview dates and times.
“On the final presentation day, Victoria Hotels and Resorts’ representatives from five different locations even connected via tele-conference to listen to the students’ findings, to give feedback and contribute to the final assessments.”
Ms Anh Thu emphasised the importance of working closely with both students and industry partners during the process.
“What is important is that teachers are able to design authentic assessments which reflect the needs of the clients and meet the learning outcomes of the course,” she elaborated.
For Professor Webster, authentic assessments like these are an essential part of the learning experience for students to be well prepared for an ever-changing work environment.
“Creating transformative, authentic student experiences is an achievable goal for the University, and one that will remain at the centre of our activities for years to come,” she concluded.
Story: Hoang Ha