FocusEduVation's Blog

February 2, 2010

Improving Assessment Design

Filed under: High Stakes Assessment — Focus EduVation @ 1:26 pm

There are two major issues in assessment that will dominate discussion of e-learning, those of provision of meaningful interaction and feedback, and issues of verification of identity.

Conventional essay-based assessment techniques are applicable to e-learning with tutors providing written comment and feedback on student performance and these may well form the backbone of summative assessment schemes.

However the interactive capabilities of ICT systems can be exploited to improve the provision of formative assessment exercises.  The majority of e-learning delivery systems will provide authors with a range of options for the presentation of multiple choice questions. The value to students of these systems can be significantly improved by careful design of the remedial teaching provided in the feedback responses to MCQs.

Assessment design should be aligned to the style of course hence within a programme a diversity of assessment techniques will be encountered.  Assessors should satisfy themselves that curriculum designers address the aggregation of the cumulative evidence on student performance gained through all modes of assessment.

Curriculum designers must consider how best to address the sensitive issue of assuring the identity of students following e-learning programmes. They should be guided by institutional policy but must themselves have confidence in their systems and be in a position to defend them to academic and professional peers (also to assessment and accreditation panels).

Examinations under controlled conditions are regarded as the benchmark for verification of candidate identity and performance.  However, curriculum designers should be able to demonstrate that every effort is made to relate examination performance with the aggregate profile of student performance gained through other forms of summative assessment.

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