Archive for the ‘assessment’ Tag

New research to bring assessment into digital age

However, the challenge of designing quality assessment in a digital age can result in uncertainty around processes, practices, quality assurance, and initial and ongoing training for assessors and auditors….

…The research is based on the premise that quality online assessment requires practical information and guidelines around:

  • creating better methods to ensure e-assessment yields evidence that is relevant, valid and authentic
  • expanding learning and assessment options to include self assessment, peer assessment and group/collaborative assessment
  • monitoring and measuring online interactions and contributions between learners and between learners and teachers
  • supporting learners in gathering evidence that demonstrates authentic learner performance on tasks.
New research to bring assessment into digital age | Australian Flexible Learning Framework

 

It’s great that research like this at a national level is being undertaken. It will not only promote quality assured assessment methods, but will also acknowledge the great work already undertaken by teachers and institutes.

To me, the biggest growth areas in online assessment is Skills Recognition, workplace assessment and assessment supported by handheld and ‘bodily’ devices. The research premise outlined in the dot points above seem common sense. Authentic assessment may best be determined by the record of the learner ‘being present’ – one scenario would be that of wearable recording devices to demonstrate the skill being assessed and the learner performing a task in situ.

Extending this scenario whereby such recordings are uploaded or streamed to an e-portfolio make validation and evidence-building a more fluid process. In addition, such recording become reusable resources, adding media elements to online courses, for example.

The second dot point is perhaps the real crux; it is in the approach and design of the assessment that best validates the learning and ensures a transformation has occurred (if you follow Mezirow’s theory of transformative learning (1998), for example). Learning occurs when there is a fundamental change in the learner’s thinking, theoretical standpoint, value-judgement or commitment to a way of acting, living, or working. What is central to Mezirow’s theory is experience, critical reflection and rational discourse [1998, online, para 3].

At a practical level, Mezirow’s theory might look like this:

Learners, first off, aren’t sure what they need to do, so they look at what others do and then practice. They get things wrong, get frustrated (Mezirow’s “disorienting dilemma”), find out a bit, then practice again. As their confidence grows along with their understanding, they become more skilled in their practice, enough then to confidently demonstrate their skills to one who is seen as an ‘expert’ in that field. They validate the learner’s skill by observing, asking questions to enable the learner to voice their understanding, and finally (all gone well) give the learner a positive review.

Framework logo and e-learning innovations ACT logo

CIT, through its 2009 Innovation Projects has done some work on online assessment for Recognition. The plan is to extend these into mainstream CIT as well as build the processes further in the Events Management and Sports Management and volunteering areas.

Stay tuned as these projects are rolled out in 2010!

Reference:
Imel, S. 1998, Transformative Learning in Adulthood. ERIC Digest No. 200.

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