Week 4 – Supporting learners through assessment and feedback using TEL #octel

So we come to a topic that i probably know the most on prior to undertaking the octel course. I’ve worked with e-assessment for a number of year, 5 with Questionmark perception and 2-3 working with e-portfolios. 

E-assessment when used correctly can be a very powerful tool, that engages students and offers them valuable methods of checking their learning progress and also of gaining timely feedback. If not used correctly however, it can be a frustrating and dull experience.

  • Why did/would you choose a particular type of e-assessment? Describe why you think it is effective and how it can help deepen knowledge and understanding.

I strongly believe in the value of formative assessment. If embedded into the curriculum and used throughout the course and the academic year, it is a chance for students to monitor there learning and gain feedback. 

Whilst teach AS law we designed a number of activities for our moodle course so students could assess there learning at the end of each topic. This would range from simple multiple choice questions, to fill in the blanks, for areas that demanded factual recall. In other areas we’d have drag and drop to match case facts to the name of the case and short answer areas for the parts that required students to apply principles and not just recall facts. 

We choose formative as it was early in the course and the topics were new to the students. we did not want to add the pressure of making the results count onto the students, but felt it was important that they could track there progress. We thought out the feedback so that if an answer was wrong it would encourage them to think further about the answer. if they got it incorrect a second time, the feedback would direct them to an area they could read up on the principles the question referred to, before coming back later to take the quiz again. 

With the short answer questions, we would offer a two day turn around on the feedback to ensure students got timely, personalized feedback that would help direct their learning and allow them to continue to develop and build their knowledge. This was very popular with the students as they knew the feedback was unique to them nd not just generic and maybe not completely applicable to them.

  • In your experience, what type of approach creates an environment conducive to self-directed learning, peer support and collaborative learning? How might technology help?

An environment where learners are able to feel comfortable and confident to express themselves. When opinions and views are valued and sought, not shot down or ignored. Where students are allowed to debate and challenge each others believes and perspectives. 

In terms of technology this is able to be delivered in a few ways, but the key is for the staff to buy into the idea and play their part. They have to encourage and nurture the system and ensure students don’t talk over each other and allow every one the opportunity to express their opinions. This can be done through debates on forums, which are moderated to prevent tangents that detract from the main point, abuse and incorrect. The tutor can step in address issues and refocus the discussion. Wikis can also be used in a similar way.

The key is to let the students feel ownership of the resources that it is there’s to do with as they wish, but that staff are watching and will cut out any abuse, without being to heavily involved, which can be a difficult balancing act for academics, who want to step in ad direct. Knowing when and when not to is key in my opinion.  


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s