Increased numbers of students in Higher Education and the corresponding increase in time spent by staff on assessment has encouraged interest into how technology can assist in this area. Ensuring that the assessment methods adopted reflect both the aims and objectives of the course and any technical developments which have taken place is becoming increasingly important, especially as quality assurance procedures require departments to justify the assessment procedures adopted.
David Nicol Background and Definitions Assessment is a complex process in formal learning contexts. It involves i devising learning tasks to sample the learning expected from participation in a course or programme of study i.
This entry discusses the ways in which technology might support these different stages in the assessment cycle i-iii: It offers both the pedagogical background and some examples of tools and practices.
It focuses both on scenarios where assessment has summative purposes to arrive at a mark or grade and where it has formative purposes to provide feedback to support learning and development. In the sections that follow the potential offered by technology is examined in the light of the following assumptions.
Effective assessment assumes a theory of learning and a model of cognition. In order for assessment to be a valid measure of learning for formative or summative purposes those involved must have a reasonable understanding of how disciplinary knowledge and skills are acquired, and of the trajectory of their development Pelligrino, Chudowsky and Glaser, R, If the purpose of higher education is not just to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding in the discipline but also to develop in students the ability to monitor, evaluate and regulate their own learning, then there must be a shift from teacher regulation to learner regulation over the course of an undergraduate degree Nicol and Macfarlane-Dick, To achieve this, students must be actively involved in the processes of assessment, in the different components of the assessment cycle i-iii.
In other words, assessment is a partnership, which depends as much on what the student does as what we do as teachers. Peer interaction and collaborative learning can enhance the development of learner self-regulation. Assessment is said to drive student learning: Feedback comes from different The contribution that technology can make to the assessment process essay not just the teacher: Feedback is also produced during group activities where peers give each other informal feedback; it can also be systematically generated through peer critiquing activities.
Teachers play a key role in delivering feedback and in orchestrating self and peer feedback opportunities using a range of technologies and tools.
This wiki examines how technology might support these different forms of feedback as well as marking and grading. Task Design Technology can support task design for assessment in a variety of ways.
It can support the presentation of assessment tasks to students and it often enables more flexibility in the timing of assessments. Increased clarity of task goals and greater flexibility in timing both give students more control over their learning and assessment thus enhancing opportunities for self-regulation.
Technology can make it easier for teachers to monitor and track learner progress e.
Also, using Web 2. Second Life it is possible to assess and support the development of a much wider range of knowledge, skills and attitudes than in the past. Some examples of the possibilities are provided below. Many tools are available to support the administration of assessment processes making them more efficient and less time consuming for academic staff.
Virtual Learning Environments e. Blackboard, Moodle can make it easier to present assessment tasks to students e.
|Technology can support nearly every aspect of assessment in one way or another, from the administration of individual tests and assignments to the management of assessment across a faculty or institution; from automatically marked on-screen tests to tools to support human marking and feedback.|
Tools for objective testing, within virtual learning environments and within dedicated assessment engines e. Question Mark Perception allow teachers to orchestrate frequent assessment testing e.
Time on task has been correlated with enhanced student learning Chickering and Gamson, with many studies showing that frequent objective testing enhances the performance of students in final exams e. Haigh, Computer-supported assessment also makes it possible to enrich and make assessment tasks more authentic, for example, incorporating multimedia presentations and to enable better alignment of tests to students levels of understanding Conole and Warburton, For instance, as a test of their understanding, students learning a foreign language might watch a recorded video of current affairs programme and answer objective questions relating to the content see, Nicol, in press.
Adaptive testing involves modifying the nature of the test based on the responses the student has made to earlier tests.
Although modifying interactions in this way can be achieved in paper tests, this is far more efficient in computer-supported environments. Some researchers have also attempted to use computer programs in specific disciplinary domains e. As well as presenting tasks, the recording features within computer-mediated learning environments are valuable for assessment purposes as they enable tutors to present milestones for complex tasks with timed release and alerts e.
The milestones and records of activity also enable students to monitor and reflect on their own progress and that of their group. Some of these tools, by providing a record of ongoing interactions, also have the potential to facilitate the assessment of soft skills e. Assessment and Interpretation Moving on through the assessment cycle, technology can play a role in supporting the assessment measurement of knowledge, skills and attitudes and the interpretation of assessment data.
Most teachers wish to ensure that assessment is valid and actually samples the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are expected to develop through the course or programme of study or that are required in professional practice. It is also important that the assessment data can be used to support learning not just to certify achievement.
Technology offers great promise in both these areas: Assessments are more likely to be valid and productive measures of student development if they are underpinned by a model of learning that both explains and charts the trajectory of learner development from novice to expert in the discipline Pelligrino, Chudowsky and Glaser, Models enable us to not only test current levels of understanding and skills in relation to levels or standards but also to design subsequent experiences to stimulate learner progression.
One of the most important differences between experts and novices is how they perceive the relationships between disciplinary concepts.Technology can be used to enhance the assessment process in the following: Video evidence of skills/performance Video technology introduces a number of advantages to the assessment process.
Technology can be used for assessment purposes at various levels ranging from the management of the assessment information to a fully automated assessment system.
Unit 1 Explain the contribution that technology can make to the assessment process There are advantages in the use of technology for assessment, these include;. Technology can support nearly every aspect of assessment in one way or another, from the administration of individual tests and assignments to the management of assessment across a faculty or institution; from automatically marked on-screen tests to tools to support human marking and feedback. Technology can be used for assessment purposes at various levels ranging from the management of the assessment information to a fully automated assessment system. Using technology for the management of assessment information can enable information to be presented in different ways to meet the needs of different audiences (such as teachers.
Using technology for the management of assessment information can enable information to be presented in different ways to meet the needs of different audiences (such as teachers.
Understanding the principles and practices of assessment. Understanding the principles and practices of assessment 1. Understand the principles and requirements Explain the contribution that technology can make to the assessment process.
The Assessment Process Essay. Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment Assignment 1 Introduction Assessment is the process of judging a learner’s skills and knowledge within the work place or training environment, set against the National Occupational Standards.
Assessment is the process of collecting and evaluating achievement. It should always test the learner, but be clearly understood by the learner too. (Tummons ,p.5) states that Assessment ensures that we can motivate and encourage learners as well as diagnosing their learning needs.
How Technology Could Contribute to a Sustainable World (Vergragt) Technology Development, and was Professor of Technology Assessment at Delft University of Technology. He has published many scientific articles, book chapters, How Technology Could Contribute to a Sustainable World.