Blended Assessment for Student Engagement in the Faculties of Arts, Economics and Business
Cross Faculty TIES grant.
Assessment is a critical catalyst for learning (Brown et al., 1997) and the process of assessment affects a student’s view of the value of engaging in learning. Within a context of increasing use of online learning and student diversity, new forms of online assessment are taking special significance in modern curriculum design. Learning and teaching take place in a whole system, which encompasses classroom and online spaces, departmental and institutional levels. An effective learning environment aims to align all aspects of teaching and assessment to support high order learning processes (Biggs, 2003). There is “a general shift across education from assessment of products, or outputs, to assessing the process of learning” (Conole, et al, 2005).
In the same way assessment is crucial to student learning, the process of assessment can in turn shape institutional practice. The common belief that using information technologies would change the learning environment for the better and lessen teacher workload has not eventuated in many learning situations. At the same time, the perception that e-assessment is only suited to testing surface knowledge is now being challenged, especially with the advent of new collaborative technologies, and new pedagogic approaches are opening up.
The three broad aims of this project are:
- to engage students in formative and summative activities that
- scaffold their learning with incremental and fully aligned online assessment,
- develop their understanding of graduate attributes and their relationship with assessment tasks,
- present a consistent approach to e-assessment along their degree program,
- to design, develop and evaluate an approach to academic development in eLearning that will
- develop academic understanding of what a successful student blended learning experience is, as well as the suitability of a range of online assessment strategies to different pedagogical situations and purposes,
- put assessment, and in particular online assessment (formative and summative), at the centre of the curriculum design process,
- engage academics in a supportive cross-faculty community of creative and reflective eLearning practitioners, with a particular focus on the integration of online assessment
- to articulate strategies for scaling up online assessment in both faculties, and support the systematic development of blended (Mode B1) units in both faculties.
The project will develop and trial an academic development program that will ensure that online assessment is closely aligned with course aims and learning outcomes. It will use ReView, an online assessment tool (piloted in E+B as a result of a Carrick grant) that provides students with online criterion-based tutor feedback on assessment tasks and opportunities for self-assessment.
The project will select one degree program in each of the two faculties and introduce Arts and E+B academics (teaching in years 1 to 3 of the same degree program) to a variety of e-assessment strategies, existing patterns and the use of ReView. Patterns of e-assessment, closely linked to the learning objectives of the unit and degree program as well as graduate attributes, will be designed and developed in face to face workshops and online communication in the wiki and community blog, and through collaborative group work and individual unit development.
Biggs, J.B. (2003). Teaching for quality learning at university. Buckingham: Open University Press/Society for Research into Higher Education. (Second edition)
Brown, G., Bull, J. & Pendlebury, M. (1997) Assessing student learning in higher education. Routledge, London.
Conole, G. and Warburton B. (2005) A review of computer-assisted assessment, ALT-J, 13:1, 17-31.