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Liz McDowell

Personal details

Liz McDowellJob title: Honorary Professor in Education

Highest qualification: EdD

Liz McDowell was until recently Director of the CETL [Centre for Excellence] in Assessment for Learning at Northumbria University and has worked in educational development and research in Higher Education for a number of years. She has been involved in a number of development projects as an educational advisor and evaluator. She has also taught on courses for new and experienced HE lecturers.

Liz's research interests are in learning, teaching and assessment in HE especially researching assessment from the student perspective. She was the main organiser of the Northumbria Assessment Conferences which have run since 1996 attracting an international audience of researchers and practitioners interested in the assessment of student learning and which eventually became a joint venture with the EARLI (European Association for Learning & Instruction) SIG for Assessment and Evaluation.

Email: Liz.McDowell@cumbria.ac.uk

Academic interests

  • Assessment; Assessment for Learning.
  • Student learning and student experience
  • Academic staff development; academic practice
  • Innovation and change in learning, teaching and assessment

Recent external roles

  • Professor in Academic Practice , Northumbria University
  • Director of CETL (National Centre for Excellence) in Assessment for Learning (2005 – 2010)
  • Member of HE Academy expert group developing a guide to assessment
  • PhD examining at universities of: Sunderland, West of England, Oxford Brookes, Bradford, South Australia.

Research activity

Current/recent projects

  • PASS: Programme Assessment Strategies - Collaborative NTFS funded project led by Bradford University
  • Assessment Environments and Cultures - NTFS funded project
  • Making a difference: educational development to enhance academic literacy - Collaborative FDTL5 funded project led by Northumbria University
  • Review of a college’s new learning & teaching model - Consultancy
  • Evaluation of the impacts of investment in ICT on pupil motivation and achievement - S Tyneside Education Action Zone
  • Enable: early experiences of learning and teaching using Blackboard

Selected outputs

Sambell, K., McDowell, L. & Montgmery. C. (2012) Assessment for learning in higher education, Abingdon, Routledge

McDowell, L. ‘Assessment for Learning’ in L. Clouder & Broughan (eds) (2012) Improving Student Engagement and Development Through Assessment, Taylor & Francis

McDowell L , Wakelin D, Montgomery C, and King , S (2011) Does Assessment for Learning make a difference? The development of a questionnaire to explore the student response Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 36(7),p 749 -766

McDowell, L. & Harman, K. (2011) Assessment talk in Design: the multiple purposes of assessment in HE Teaching in Higher Education 16(1), pp. 41-52

Tudor,J Penlington, R. & McDowell, L (2010) Perceptions and their influences on approaches to learning Engineering Education: Journal of the Higher Education Academy Engineering Subject Centre,Vol 5, No 2, pp. 69 -79

McDowell, L., Penlington, R., & Tudor, J. (2010). Initial findings of a mixed methods investigation into students’ perceptions and approaches towards learning.. Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education [Online] 5:2. Available: http://www.pestlhe.org.uk/index.php/pestlhe/article/view/86/204 [refereed journal]

Hou, J., Montgomery, C. and McDowell, L. (2010) ‘Transition in Chinese – British Higher Education Articulation Programmes: Closing the Gap between East and West?’ In Ryan, J. (ed) China’s higher education: Reform and internationalisation. London: Routledge.

Bohemia E1, HarmanK and McDowellL (2009) Intersections: The Utility of an ‘Assessment for Learning’ Discourse for Design Educators, Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education , 8 (2), pp. 123-134

‘Formative and summative assessment’ in Bioscience Briefing on Assessment, Leeds, UK Centre for Bioscience 2009, pp.19-20

Assessment for learning : a brief history and review of terminology’ in Rust, C (ed) Improving student learning through the curriculum, Oxford, OCSLD, 2009, pp. 56 - 64 (with K Sambell & G Davison)

Montgomery, C & McDowell, L (2009) Social networks and the international student experience: a community of practice? Journal of Studies in International Education, 13 (4), pp. 455-466.

Negotiating assignment pathways: students and academic assignments Teaching in Higher Education , 13 (4), 2008, pp. 423-435

‘Evaluating assessment strategies through collaborative evidence-based practice: can one tool fit all?’ Innovations in Education and Training International 42(2) 2008, pp.143-153 (with J Smailes, K Sambell, A Sambell, D Wakelin)

‘Students’ experiences of feedback on academic assignments in higher education: implications for practice’ in Havnes, A & McDowell, L (eds) Balancing dilemmas in assessment and learning in contemporary education New York, Routledge (2008) pp 237-249