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  5. Assessing 'alternative media' elements: is there a generic model?

Assessing 'alternative media' elements: is there a generic model?

Project leader(s): 
Soraya Kouadri Mostéfaoui

Nowadays, new digital technologies provide educators with increasingly diverse opportunities for assessing students’ understanding through media other than conventional text – for example web pages, videos, posters, PowerPoint presentations, podcasts and graphics, all of which can be submitted electronically for assessment at a distance. However, educators often struggle to develop an appropriate assessment model for these non-text media artefacts.

The initial motivations for this research work stem from our first experiments on developing and using a common assessment model for assessing both text-based and non-text based artefacts (video production) in T215 ‘Communication and Information Technologies’. The module team developed a new assessment model which is applied on each of the five TMAs. This assessment model is interesting because it provides a consistent framework within which students can work and critique their own assessment outputs as well as a consistent way for teaching staff to assess text-based and non-text based artefacts.

This research project investigated whether the T215’s assessment model could be applied equally as well in these other contexts too, and if not whether an alternative generic model could be developed.

The research consisted of two main tasks, the data collection and data analysis. Data collection consisted of identifying several modules which assess alternative media artefacts, carrying out literature surveys and conducting two online surveys, a focus group and a set of interviews. The data analysis consisted of the statistical and comparative analysis of the collected data as well as a tentative mapping of some of the surveyed assessment models onto the T215’s one.

The main findings are that the T215 model has potential to provide a flexible and consistent way of assessing a wide range of alternative media artefacts. In its current form it lacks the facility to assess the artefacts holistically but this can be addressed by slightly modifying the existing model’s criteria. However, the T215 model can be difficult to retrofit and is not easily applicable to process-based assessments. These shortcomings are worth further investigation in a future eSTEeM project. 

Related resources

Kouadri Mostéfaoui, S. and Williams, J. (2013) Assessing 'Alternative Media' Elements is there a Generic Model? eSTEeM Final Report. (PDF) 

Kouadri Mostéfaoui and Williams poster (PDF)

Scholarship Series - video highlighting Soraya's project which focuses on the development and application of a common assessment framework for text and non-text based outputs in a level 2 communication and IT module.

Video length: 3 mins 31 secs

Download transcript