The value and importance of feedback and formative assessment is well supported and documented in the literature. Most of us will be familiar with Black & Wiliam’s (1998) distinction between formative and summative assessment for or of learning. Although, maybe labour intensive for staff, formative assessments are positively associated with students academic achievements and progress (Black & William, 1998; Hargreaves, 2005; Sadler 1989). As such, feedback and formative assessment should be an essential part of the process of teaching and learning (Black & William’s, 1998; Shepard, 2000). However, this is not always the case as for example the HEFCE (2006; 2009) students’ satisfaction survey shows. Students of most universities rated feedback on assessments and assignments as one of the weakest areas of academic support, and Kingston University is no exception.
To increase the quality and to ease the effort of delivering feedback as well as reducing the administrational burden, educational technologies can be used. Bryan & Clegg (2006) in their edited collection of papers show that a variety of technologies can be used to support feedback e.g. peer feedback, critical thinking,
personal reflection and instantaneous support feedback. The different papers demonstrate that e-assessments have a wider scope than just objective tests using for example multiple choice questions. Similarly, the JISC report by Pachler et al. (2009: 2) shows that technologies are versatile and they argue that “almost all technology can be used in a formative way – if the right conditions are set”. As the HEA literature review by Hounsel et al., (2007) shows, innovative e-assessments offer gains to students and staff that go beyond the administrational gains. Educational technology might combine the wish for optimising staff time and enhancing teaching, learning and assessment at the same time.
The Academic Development Centre (ADC) has for over a decade supported various technologies that support the process of assessment, feedback and administration. In recent years Blackboard Quizz tool and test manager, Qmark Perception assessment tool and the wiki and blog tools have been supplimented by the Turnitin Plagiarism Detection Service, the GradeMark Online Marking tool and the Peer Mark Peermarking tool. Further, individual faculties have implemented other novel forms of technology to ease the administrative burden of delivering feedback to students with e.g. mail merge application. With the recent introduction of PeerMark we would like to investigate Perceptions on the role technologies can play in supporting assessment, coursework submission, Peer Assessment and online marking.
We are looking for academics and/or administrators who would like to share their experiences with us on:
• delivery of online submission (e.g. Blackboard online assignment, Turnitin),
• digital delivery of feedback (e.g. podcast, mail merge application, Grademark),
• digital peer feedback, etc.
The main source of data collection for this evaluation will be an interview in which the interviewee could share his/her experience, success and constraints in using digital tools, tell us about the aims, change in routine, division of labour, and provide us with recommendation for others who might consider using e-learning tools for this purpose and for staff development.
This evaluation would result in a small report that will be circulated. However, the long-term aim is to write an academic position paper that would contribute to the enhancement of online submission, feedback and assessment.
To express your interest of participation or for more information on the evaluation please contact Hendrik van der Sluis
Black, P. and Wiliam, D. (1998). ‘Inside the black box: Raising standards through classroom assessment’. Phi Delta Kappan, 80 (2): 139-148. [Online]. Available from: http://www.pdkintl.org/ kappan/kbla9810.htm
Bryan, C. & Clegg, K. (2006) ‘Innovative Assessment in Higher Education’ (2nd Ed.). Oxon, Routledge Hargreaves, E. (2005). ‘Assessment for learning? Thinking outside the (black) box’. Cambridge Journal of Education, 35:2, 213-224 HEFCE (2006) ‘2006 National Student Survey’. [Online].Available from: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/nss/. HEFCE (2009) ‘2009 National Student Survey’. [Online].Available
from: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/learning/nss/. Hounsell, D., Falchikov, N., Hounsell, J., Klampfleitner, M., Huxham,
M., Thomson, K. & Blair, S. (2007). Innovative assessment across the disciplines. An analytical review of the literature. FINAL REPORT. [Online]. Available from: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/research/Innovative_assessment_LR.pdf
Pachler, N., Mellar, H., Daly, C., Mor, Y. & Wiliam, D. (2009). ‘Scoping a Vision for Formative e-Assessment’. JISC, 30 April 2009. [Online]. Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2009/feasstfinalreport.aspx
Sadler, D.R. (1989). ‚Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems‘. Instructional Science, 18 (2): 119-144 Shepard, L.A. (2000). ‘The Role of Assessment in a Learning Culture’. Educational Researcher, 29, 7, 4–14
Hendrik van der Sluis and Tim Linsey, Academic Development Centre