The new Act relating to universities and university colleges (NOU 2020:3) is to be passed by the Norwegian Parliament this month. As a Centre for Excellence in Education, we have both experience and expertise in what hinders and what supports development of good teaching and learning. We have previously voiced concerns over several elements in the proposed law, and especially the return to two sensors for all assessments on an A-F scale. The science shows that constructive alignment of learning and assessment activities, multiple low-stakes assessment points, and flexibility for the students in which parts of their work should count towards the grade is what most effectively promotes quality and (crucially) equity in higher education. The return to two sensors and a failure to open up for more flexibility in assessment will make such quality-supportive activities both expensive and impractical. Additionally, the proposed return of the two censors will force a unprecedented reallocation of resources and professor’s time from teaching activities, time spend with our students, and feedback to the students, towards assessment and censoring. This was precisely why this was abandoned back in 2014!
So what will happen? Well. The professor’s working days will be a lot less rewarding, the students will see us less and hear less from us (feedback, anyone?), and we’ll be forced back to a system with end of term high-stakes exams. Unfortunately, grading will not be more reliable (yes, there is science to show this, too).