I have the same thoughs as Wildone:
Spreads the assessment load for staff and students Digital platforms allow the delivery of assessments to be scheduled. TEA also makes it easier to repurpose and reuse your resources learning objects and can enable automatic marking, thus further reducing your workload.
Assessments delivered via digital platforms can be scheduled and automatically released at set intervals, thus enabling the assessment load and its associated marking and feedback provision to be spread throughout the term, which can reduce the sense of assessment overload for you and your students.
Using technology can increase assessment efficiency by, for example, allowing the creation of reusable resources learning objects and by facilitating automatic marking. Technology can provide a means of delivering rapid feedback, or even automate the process, making it clear to students when they have performed well and hopefully clarifying the assessment criteria even further.
Improves student engagement and promotes deeper learning The use of technology to enhance assessment can also be a boost to student engagement by enabling diverse assessment methods to be implemented, supporting active learning, allowing more frequent formative assessment and by extension promoting deeper learning and improvements in grades1,2.
Using a broader range of assessment methods can also allow a wider range of skills to be assessed. Additional benefits to using TEA include: This provides additional flexibility for learning and allows students to access assessments at a time that best suits their individual learning approaches and needs; readily available statistics on student performance, which can also enable courses to be more easily reviewed.
Cons Despite the numerous benefits to be derived from implementing TEA, you may find that there are also a number of 'costs' associated with its use: Finances and staff time One of the biggest issues of implementing TEA is the associated cost, both monetary and in terms of your time and effort, which need to be weighed up against the associated pedagogic benefits.
Assessment design both conceptual and aesthetic is an important consideration when creating TEAs and can sometimes take a lot of time to get right.
Accessibility issues Digital literacy among students as well as staff is far from a level playing field and as such some students may be uncomfortable with the use of TEA.
The requirements of students with special educational needs must also be taken into account from the outset and, if necessary, alternative methods of assessment provided.
Large-scale introduction requires a significant level of institutional buy in Implementing TEA within an individual assessment, or the assessment programme for a module is not an insignificant undertaking, but is achievable.
Initiating a broader transformation, however, requires a high level of investment, both in technology and in staff and student training, particularly if the assessment is to be used summatively.
Any widespread implementation needs to be aligned with institutional and external policies and the pedagogic benefits to students clearly identified.
You also need to ensure that there is a commitment to provide adequate support both for the production of assessment materials and their delivery. Such a shift may require a cultural change that can take sometimes take a while to achieve. This further emphasises the need for a strong pedagogic grounding for any decisions to move in this direction.
Sense of isolation If a shift to online assessment results in a reduction in contact time or face-to-face interaction with other students, it might result in students feeling a sense of isolation.
This is cited as one of students' main concerns about the wider implementation of TEA4. References Effective Assessment in a Digital Age: A guide to technology-enhanced assessment and feedback. Conditions under which assessment supports students learning.
Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Amending assessment for a dyslexic student.
Teaching and Supporting Learning. National Student Forum Annual Report Things to do now.Read Chris's previous columns Chris Hargreaves is a lecturer at the Centre for Forensic Computing at Cranfield University in Shrivenham, UK. Chris is involved to some extent in all of the Centre's core activities: Education, Research and Consultancy.
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