e-assessment for your context

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As you will realise by now, many technologies can be used for e-assessment. For this topic, you are asked to spend some time exploring different types of tools, particularly those that are unfamiliar, and really think about how you want to assess, and wich technologies will be most appropriate. The video series produced by UNSW, Australia found further on, is a great place to start. It may provide you with lots of ideas to try.

Commonly, in tertiary education institutions e-assessment tools are often located in the Learning Managment System (LMS), for example, self-marking quizzes in Moodle or Blackboard. Turnitin may be used for electronic submission to check plagiarism, and the gradebook may be in use for collating results. In some cases, teachers are providing formative feedback on discussion forums, and some may grade their posts. Have a think about the pros and cons of grading discussion forums. However, by keeping e-assessment restricted to the LMS, the potential for using technologies for assessments that encourage learning along the way may be restricted.

In addition to using an LMS for assessment activities, some courses, like this one require students to maintain an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio), also known as a digital portfolio or depending on the way it is constructed, a blog.

How can e-assessment be used in your context?

The following video resources from UNSW, Australia, provide handy tips on using e-assessment:

Digital portfolios (e-portfolios)

Before deciding whether a digital portfolio is suitable for assessment in your context, you are advised to explore the digital portfolio resource prepared for GDTE. Hopefully, you made use of this to help you set up your portfolio for this course. The school sector in New Zealand may be well ahead of our tertiary sector when it comes to e-portfolios. Here at Otago Polytechnic some programmes use them, for example: GDTE, Assessing Prior Learning at CapableNZ, Carpentry, Design and Nursing, and others such as Midwifery are beginning the journey.

The TKI website (Ministery of Education) has some tips for teachers about e-portfolios, and make sure you look out for the school stories. If students coming from school are used to using e-portfolios for learning, they may be expecting this form of assessment at tertiary level. In Australia, USA and UK, the use of e-portfolios for assessment is commonplace. UNSW Australia has created a useful resource about Assessing with e-portfolios.


Extra resources

  • Some organisations might utilise online tools provided by a publisher's website for assessment activities. The University of Canterbury had to adapt to enable students to complete formative assessments when a series of earthquakes made face-to-face contact impossible. They used a Pearson Publishing product, MasteringBiology.
  • Peerwise - a tool that is useful if you make frequent use of multiple choice questions (MCQ) in your assessments. It is a platform for hosting MCQs generated by your students. As a teacher, you can e-mail the Peerwise administrators fro a course site - your students can then write their own MCQs, upload it to your course site in Peerwise, and then answer, critique and rate their peers' questions. Students also accumulate points based on their level of engagement.
Paul Denny, the mastermind behind Peerwise, explains how it can be used in a video clip on the Ako Aotearoa website.

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  • Outline a teaching strategy (pedagogy) you are using;
  • Discuss how and why you would like to use a specific technology for e-assessment;
  • What would be the advantages for learning and teaching? In particular, how the e-assessment supports learning.
  • Share your thoughts on your portfolio.