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Nowadays, we are facing a re-structure of universities at both national and international level, as a consequence of the shift in perspective towards university teaching and learning student-centered processes.

The new structure implies a new organization of times and spaces, the inclusion of Technologies for learning and knowledge, coordination of activities, interest in cross competences, mobility, adaptation to social needs, transference of knowledge, meeting professional competences and design and implementation of new studies (as an example, Spain started the academic course 2010/11 with 2.339 bachelor programmes, 2.429 masters and 1.624 PHD studies).

The change in the teaching and learning process implies adjustments, alternatives, research and innovation in this process. In this context, assessment becomes a way not just to evaluate and mark, but also to guide learning and become strategic learning by itself.  Therefore, assessment turns out to be a key factor in continuous improvement.

There have been a lot of advances in the matter, and now it is time to share and disseminate the progress achieved in order to learn from others.

EVALtrends 2011 is going to be focused on the topic Learning by assessing at university level: Innovative experiences. The conference is going to be a place that allows discussion and brings the opportunity to contribute, share and disseminate useful and viable innovative practices and experiences for the assessment of competences and learning outcomes at university.

Through the analysis and discussion of those practices and experiences we aim to study in depth the following:

  • How to incorporate feedback and feedforward of learning outcomes in assessment?
  • How to integrate and increase students' participation in the assessment process. How does an active participation of students in the assessment process affect learning? 
  • To what extent are the assessment tasks we design authentic? 
  • What types of procedures or assessment tools are designed to promote learning competences? 
  • What are the advances in tools, resources and technological services that can help us to assess for learning?

We hope that this first EVALtrends 2011 conference will be the first of a fruitful collaboration between researchers and innovative teachers regarding university assessment. We hope it will be an important forum to learn.