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Online assessment Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: 78187 - Ph:

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Presentation on theme: "Online assessment Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: 78187 - Ph:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Online assessment Mary Rice & Dale Holt Institute of Teaching and Learning - Ph: Ph:

2 Online assessment One of the key higher education assessment challenges identified by AUTC research 2002 Can enable institutions to be more flexible and timely in preparing students for knowledge-based society Same principles apply in designing online assessment tasks as for any other Should only be used in appropriate ways at appropriate times

3 Why assess online? Tasks can be more varied and interesting - tests, quizzes, debates, role plays, simulations, portfolios Provides options for more authentic assessment of professional practice without being in workplace - role plays, simulations for assessing competence Formative assessment easier to deliver and manage Learn from rather than for assessment (Anderson and Elloumi, 2004; James, McKinnis & Devlin 2002; Morgan and O’Reilly, 1999.)

4 Why assess online? The issue of who assesses can be reconsidered - teacher, peer, self, computer, external reviewer Broader range of skills can be assessed more efficiently - operating online, communication, practice-based skills Delivery mechanisms can be more effective, efficient, timely - selective release, close off. Can provide feedback more quickly - automated self-tests, electronic tracking (Anderson and Elloumi, 2004; James, McKinnis & Devlin 2002; Morgan and O’Reilly, 1999.)

5 What should be assessed? Thinking critically and making judgements Solving problems and developing plans Performing procedures and demonstrating techniques Managing and developing oneself Accessing and managing information Demonstrating knowledge and understanding Designing, creating and performing Communicating (Nightingale et al.,1996, p.3)

6 How to assess Possible online formats: Individual, pairs, groups Text, graphics, computer-based multimedia presentations (PowerPoint, Audio, Video) Work assessed by teacher, peers, self Automated computer feedback

7 How to assess: Options at Deakin using DSO Tests and quizzes Range of question types (MCQs, Yes/No, True/False, Fill the Gaps, Short answer) Question databases Random selection of questions Selective release of tests Timed tests (availability, completion time) Immediate feedback Production of webpages Multimedia-based assignments

8 How to assess: Options at Deakin using DSO Group assessment options set up groups (random or selected) provide instructions manage groups Online assignment submission submissions recorded comments on submissions Grade book insert, edit, locate and view grades Gradable discussions participation graded, automatically recorded

9 Issues in online assessment Educational Should add value to learning experience - not used for expediency, cost cutting, etc Construction of online assessment tasks can be time consuming - e.g. test question banks, multimedia triggers - need to start small Reliance on online testing may lead to assessment of low-level cognitive skills - need to use variety of online approaches

10 Issues in online assessment Educational Students may expect more feedback more often because the technology enables it - establish clear guidelines/parameters Different learning styles and changing pedagogies may cause reluctance - some cohorts may require extra support Perception that online assessment may encourage plagiarism - offset by use of detection software for educational purposes

11 Issues in online assessment Managerial Providing formative feedback time consuming for academic staff - need to find balance Can be difficult to maintain integrity of groups when students enrol late or withdraw - an ongoing issue that needs to be managed. Can be a lack of support and interest from colleagues who have other priorities - find support and interest in other discipline areas

12 Issues in online assessment Technical Technology may be unstable and/or unreliable at critical times - contingency plans should be in place Technical support may not be readily available at critical times - flexibility needed Students’ may have varying levels of competence in using technology systems - design should ensure fairness for all cohorts

13 Useful resources CSHE - The University of Melbourne The University of Adelaide University of Technology, Sydney Flinders University

14 References Anderson, T. & Elloumi, F. (2004). Theory and practice of online learning. Cde.athabasca.ca/online_book Athabasca University. James, R., McInnis, C & Devlin, M (2002). Assessing learning in Australian universities. Melbourne: University of Melbourne, Centre for the Study of Higher Education for the Australian Universities teaching Committee. Morgan, C. & O’Reilly, M. (1999). Assessing open and distance learners. London: Kogan Page.


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