Infographics

Assessment overview

This case study involves a group-based undergraduate (MBBS) summative assessment that involves creating an infographic within a tight time limit. These infographics address a certain medical topic. Students are made aware of the generalised topic of the infographic prior to the session, with pre-reading that is encouraged to be used. At the start of the session, all groups are given the same poster title, with the task to create an illustrative poster that addresses the topic and title. Students are given one hour to complete the poster. Posters are then assessed by examiners, and feedback is provided, at some time after the session. 

Design Decisions

Rationale for Infographics

The world is moving to a shorter attention span, with ‘TikTok style short videos’ and other social media providing easy, instant information to consumers. As a result, many people now benefit from convenient information that is attractive to digest. Educational use of infographics – easily digestible visualisations of information designed to impart knowledge with speed and clarity - therefore lends itself well to higher education as it consists of the creation of visually appealing media that permit rapid accumulation of information 

Task Design

In this summative assessment, 32 groups are given the same title and task to create a poster surrounding the title’s topic. Students are given 75 minutes to complete the task. Students are provided with templates and asked to annotate their posters with speech bubbles to elucidate their choices on their infographics posters in relation to two things: 

  • to explain the key messages that they have chosen and to explain their thinking and rationale as to why these messages were chosen to reach their target audience; 
  • to describe the barriers that they can identify in reaching their target audience and how their infographic has overcome these barriers to engage them in behavioural changes that result in more collaborative language and interactions with patients with diabetes 

Alignment with other assessments and the programme/ module 

This assessment is delivered as part of the TBL sessions and is linked to the tApp part of the TBL. You can find more information about the department’s approach to TBL assessments here.

There is some overlap with an aspect of the closed book exam at the end of the year, where students may be asked a question about appropriate use of language towards a patient. There is a design task in a later Year 2 module where students create a poster. The infographics exercise indirectly prepares and sets these students up well for the creative and illustrative aspects of that upcoming module. 

Practicalities

Preparing students for assessment

Students get randomly allocated to groups prior to them commencing Year 1. Before the infographics summative assessment, students are provided a preparative teaching session surrounding teamwork.  

In terms of the infographics, students are also given the mark scheme beforehand and are given a run-through of total marks, the weighting of each section of the marking criteria, what the examiners expect, and other aspects of the rubric.  

There are also preparatory readings that the students are provided with that may help with shaping their posters, but students are welcome to use other sources if they wish. The readings direct the students to appropriate sources that can inform the content of their posters. 

Marking arrangements

Given how different it is from other assessment types, making a good mark scheme for infographics is a challenging exercise. Despite being a fun, creative style of assessment, students are expected to treat it as an assessment just as any other. The marking criteria is therefore very discriminating for this reason, with most students achieving ‘meets expectations’ or ‘deserves merit’, but ‘distinction’ mark is a rarer occurrence. Full marking scheme is available to view here.

Training markers involves bringing all markers together at a markers meeting. Four infographics are selected at random, they are marked silently by everyone individually, and then a discussion is held where every marker explains why and how they marked, and people thence adjust their grades, until a consensus is reached for all four. Following this meeting, markers split off into pairs and begin marking. One examiner writes their mark, as does the other. They discuss their marks for the infographic, reach an agreed mark and move on.  

Feedback arrangements

Written feedback is provided within two weeks of the infographic being submitted. Examiners tell students what they did well, what they could have done differently and give them hints and tips as to what they saw when they looked at their infographic. 

Online adaptations (COVID)

With the assessment moving online during COVID, groups were placed in breakout rooms. Each tutor had four or five groups to hop in and out of breakout rooms and to see how they were progressing, ask them to share screen, and so on. 

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