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Online assessment - Deakin University

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Online assessment
Mary Rice & Dale Holt
Institute of Teaching and Learning
mrice@deakin.edu.au - Ph: 78187
dholt@deakin.edu.au - Ph: 78183
Online assessment
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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
Why assess online?
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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.)
Why assess online?
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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.)
What should be assessed?
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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)
How to assess
Possible online formats:
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Individual, pairs, groups
Text, graphics, computer-based
multimedia presentations (PowerPoint,
Audio, Video)
Work assessed by teacher, peers, self
Automated computer feedback
How to assess: Options at
Deakin using DSO
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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
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Production of webpages
Multimedia-based assignments
How to assess: Options at
Deakin using DSO
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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
Issues in online assessment
Educational
пЃ® Should add value to learning experience - not
used for expediency, cost cutting, etc
пЃ® Construction of online assessment tasks can
be time consuming - e.g. test question banks,
multimedia triggers - need to start small
пЃ® Reliance on online testing may lead to
assessment of low-level cognitive skills need to use variety of online approaches
Issues in online assessment
Educational
пЃ® Students may expect more feedback more
often because the technology enables it establish clear guidelines/parameters
пЃ® Different learning styles and changing
pedagogies may cause reluctance - some
cohorts may require extra support
пЃ® Perception that online assessment may
encourage plagiarism - offset by use of
detection software for educational purposes
Issues in online assessment
Managerial
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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
Issues in online assessment
Technical
пЃ® Technology may be unstable and/or
unreliable at critical times - contingency plans
should be in place
пЃ® 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
Useful resources
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CSHE - The University of Melbourne
http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/assessinglearning/03/online.html
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The University of Adelaide
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/clpd/online/assessonline/
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University of Technology, Sydney
http://www.iml.uts.edu.au/assessment/online/index.html
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Flinders University
http://www.flinders.edu.au/flexed/resources/assess.htm
References
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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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