The struggle for academic rigour in assessment education
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This article explores the meaning of academic rigour in relation to a fourth year assessment education course for pre-service teachers. We present the requirements for a course to be considered academically rigorous, describe the course we offered in the light of these criteria and then present the students’ responses. Our findings indicate differing perspectives between lecturers and students on what it means to learn about assessment and to be academically rigorous. Whereas the lecturers were expecting engagement with assessment theory and practice from all students, many students ‘tuned out’ whenever the course did not engage them in practical examples related to their subject specialisation. Only exceptional students moved beyond compliance with course requirements. The struggle for academic rigour involves developing a better alignment between lecturer and student expectations. This has implications for more explicit explanation of course purposes as well as increased cooperation with subject specialisation methodology courses.