TLO 7: Construct an Evidence-Based Argument or Narrative in Audio, Digital, Oral, Visual or Written Form

  • Paul SendziukEmail author


The movement towards privileging ‘authentic’ forms of student learning and assessment, and employer demands for university graduates to possess the ability to work in groups and communicate through a variety of non-textual means, has encouraged history academics to rethink the way in which they teach and assess their students. This chapter provides a brief critique of the written essay as the best means for students to communicate their ideas and be assessed and suggests a variety of alternative activities to develop student capacities to construct evidence-based arguments and narratives.


  1. Barnard College. (2017). Reacting to the past: Curriculum. Retrieved February 1, 2017 from
  2. Bell, J., Carland, R., Fraser, P., & Thomson, A. (2016). History is a conversation: Teaching student historians through making digital histories. History Australia, 13(3), 415–430. Scholar
  3. Bloxham, S., den-Outer, B., Hudson, J., & Price, M. (2016). Let’s stop the pretence of consistent marking: Exploring the multiple limitations of assessment criteria. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 41(3), 466–481.
  4. Bloxham, S., & Boyd, P. F. (2007). Developing effective assessment in higher education: A practical guide. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Booth, A. (1996). Assessing group work. In A. Booth & P. Hyland (Eds.), History in higher education: New directions in teaching and learning (pp. 276–297). London: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  6. Boud, D. (2001). Implementing student self-assessment. Sydney: HERDSA.Google Scholar
  7. Candy, P. C., Crebert, G., & O’Leary, J. (1994). Developing lifelong learners through undergraduate education. Canberra: National Board of Employment Education and Training.Google Scholar
  8. Carnes, M. C. (2014). Minds on fire: How role immersion games transform college. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Falchikov, N. (2005). Improving assessment through student involvement: Practical solutions for aiding learning in higher and further education. London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  10. Gibbs, G. (2006). Why assessment is changing. In C. Bryan & K. Clegg (Eds.), Innovative assessment in higher education (pp. 11–22). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Grove, J. (2016). Mature students ‘do better with non-written assessment’. Times Higher Education, September 29, 2016. Retrieved October 27, 2016, from
  12. Hounsell, D. (2003). Student feedback, learning and development. In M. Slowey & D. Watson (Eds.), Higher education and the lifecourse (pp. 67–78). Buckingham: SRHE/ Open University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Hounsell, D., McCune, V., Hounsell, J., & Litjens, J. (2008). The quality of guidance and feedback to students. Higher Education Research & Development, 27(1), 55–67. Scholar
  14. Ihde, E. (2015). Evaluation and interpreting evidence culminating in a debate. In the beginning: Revitalising first year curriculum. Retrieved February 2, 2016, from
  15. James, R., McInnis, C., & Devlin, M. (2002). Assessing learning in Australian universities ideas: Strategies and resources for quality in student assessment. Melbourne: Centre for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved September 28, 2016, from Accessed September 28, 2016.
  16. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1998). Learning together and alone: Cooperative, competitive and individualistic learning (5th ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  17. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Holubec, E. H. (1984). Cooperation in the classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Co.Google Scholar
  18. Kelly, T. M. (2014). Teaching history in the digital age. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  19. Knapper, C., & Cropley, A. J. (2000). Lifelong learning in higher education. London: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
  20. Maclellan, E. (2001). Assessment for learning: The differing perceptions of tutors and students. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 26(4), 307–318. Scholar
  21. Maclellan, E. (2004). How convincing is alternative assessment for use in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 29(3), 311–321. Scholar
  22. Matthew, C. (2015). Creative writing to portray perspective taking and historical analysis. In the Beginning: Revitalising First Year Curriculum. Retrieved February 7, 2017 from
  23. Mauch, P. (2015). Constructing an argument culminating in a role play. In the Beginning: Revitalising First Year Curriculum. Retrieved February 2, 2017 from
  24. Musgrove, N. (2015). Identifying and analysing different values, motives and actions and reasons for these in a mock trial. In the Beginning: Revitalising First Year Curriculum. Retrieved February 3, 2017 from
  25. Nagata, K., & Ronkowski, S. (1998). Collaborative learning: Differences between collaborative and cooperative learning. The Office of Instructional Consultation: University of California Santa Barbara.Google Scholar
  26. Nicholson, T., & Ellis, G. (2000). Assessing group work to develop collaborative learning. In A. Booth & P. Hyland (Eds.), The Practice of University History (pp. 208–219). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Nye, A. (2015). Rethinking evidence: Assessment in the history discipline in Australian universities. In P. Layne & P. Lake (Eds.), Global innovation of teaching and learning in higher education: Transgressing boundaries (pp. 91–104). Geneva: Springer.Google Scholar
  28. O’Hagan, S. R., & Wigglesworth, G. (2015). Who’s marking my essay? The assessment of non-native-speaker and native-speaker undergraduate essays in an Australian higher education context. Studies in Higher Education, 40(9), 1729–1747. Scholar
  29. Panitz, T. (1997). Collaborative versus cooperative learning: Comparing the two definitions helps understand the nature of interactive learning. Cooperative Learning and College Teaching, 8(2), 5–10.Google Scholar
  30. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to teach in higher education (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  31. Read, B., Becky, F., & Robson, J. (2005). Gender, ‘bias’, assessment and feedback: Analyzing the written assessment of undergraduate history essays. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(3), 231–260. Scholar
  32. Roberts, T. S. (2008). Student plagiarism in an online world: An introduction. In T. S. Roberts (Ed.), Student plagiarism in an online world: Problems and solutions (pp. 1–9). IGI Global.Google Scholar
  33. Sendziuk, P. (2007). Virtual museums: Enhancing graduate capabilities and the student experience through an innovative group assessment task. In Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship: Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Conference (pp. 501–509). Sydney: HERDSA.Google Scholar
  34. Sendziuk, P. (2014). Student engagement and their perceptions of the effectiveness of different tutorial formats. International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, 20(2), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Sendziuk, P. (2015). If we build it will they come? Saving the history tutorial and rethinking assessment. History Australia, 12(3), 192–206. Scholar
  36. Slavin, R. E. (1990). Cooperative learning-theory, research and practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  37. Timmins, G., Keith, V., & Kinealy, C. (2005). Teaching & learning history. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  38. Turkel, W. J. (2011). Hacking history: From analog to digital and back again. Rethinking History, 15(2), 287–296. Scholar
  39. University of Melbourne. (2007). Nine principles guiding teaching and learning at the University of Melbourne: A framework for a first-class teaching and learning environment. University of Melbourne. Retrieved September 28, 2016 from
  40. Warne, E. (2015). Using debate to understand different approaches to the past. In the beginning: Revitalising first year curriculum. Retrieved February 3, 2017, from
  41. Weller, T. (Ed.). (2012). History in the digital age. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations