E-assessment : Past, present and future 2

Apologies for my recent lack of activity. We have a module whose student numbers have risen from 440 to 1075, so I have been interviewing, appointing and staff developing in every available moment. Well, that and beginning to get a firmer steer on what OU Science Faculty assessment strategy might look like in the future. More on that asap.

For now, I can report that my review E-assessment: past, present and future (not to be confused with Tom Hench’s very fine paper of the same name) is now available on the New Directions website – here – though the paper version is not out yet.  Unfortunately there is a typo in the introduction (introduced during copy editing – grrrr – but I should have spotted it) but if you can get past that I hope you’ll find the review useful. I’ve had some really nice comments about it, and to my amazement and delight it is showing as the ‘most read’ New Directions paper.

I won’t give the game away by saying too much about the paper (I want you to read it so that I don’t get knocked off that ‘most read’ position!) but I would say  that my conclusions/predictions/wishes for the future are:

1.That a beneficial side effect of MOOCs is that they are forcing the assessment community to consider appropriate methodologies for assessing huge numbers of informal learners – but we mustn’t let our standards slip in the rush to deliver assessment at scale, speed and at low cost.

2. That we should make full use of learning analytics and ‘assessment analytics’ in finding out more about the misunderstandings of individual students and cohorts of students.

3. That the boundaries between teaching, assessment and learning are becoming blurred.

4. That we should make full use of computers in assessment when that is appropriate, but not when it isn’t. To quote myself: ‘We should use computers to do what they do best, relieving human markers of some of the drudgery of marking and freeing up time for them to assess what they and only they can assess with authenticity’.

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