Explain the contribution that technology can make to the assessment process
There are advantages in the use of technology for assessment, these include;
* More frequent formative and summative assessment
* Assessors can be alerted sooner to adapt assessment methods
* Can spend less time marking
* Self-assessment; in the students ???own time??™ at their pace when they are ready
* Increased student confidence
* Students like rapid results
Technology can be important in the assessment of transferable skills, and can be used to promote collaborative assessments shared between more than one subject area.
Technology can make it easier for assessors to monitor and track learner progress e.g. (through the recording of student??™s activities) and to tailor assessments to individual student??™s needs.
Technology can play a role in supporting assessment (measurement) of knowledge, skills and attitudes and the interpretation of assessment data. Assessment has to be valid and actually sample the knowledge, skills and attitudes that students are expected to develop through the course 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: it can help increase the validity of assessment tasks; it can help develop students understanding and it can help support the development of meta-cognitive capabilities important for the transfer of learning to new problems and contexts.
Technology can help assessors present and construct assessment tasks, make valid judgements of the student progress in learning, facilitate the provision of feedback and the support the production and delivery of marks.
Technology can enable students to submit assignments electronically and allows assessors to email feedback resulting in faster results also being cost effective and using time effectively.
Technology allows learners to participate in discussion forums and enhances web-based learning including distance or blended learning.
Technology is used for recording and storing assessment evidence and allows learners to manage their own electronic records. This helps maintain security and gives the learner a responsibility and involves them in maintaining confidentiality and complies with the data protection act.
Using technology, learners can develop an e-portfolio. An e-portfolio can be seen as a type of learning record that provides actual evidence of achievement. E-portfolios can facilitate students??™ reflections on their own learning, leading to more awareness of learning strategies and needs. E-portfolios could lead to better learning outcomes and can be seen as a valid contribution to the assessment process.
Using technology in the assessment process could present issues with ???authenticity??™. Ensuring that the person completing the evidence is who s/he says they are is an issue in assessment and not a security issue specific to computer based assessment. However, in a computer environment impersonation may be perceived as a greater risk.
Plagiarism could present an issue where the ???cut and paste??™ facility of word processors and information retrieval systems may tempt students to copy sections of text directly into their work. To guard against plagiarism students should be made aware of the law relating to copyright, especially when they are asked to compile portfolios.
The overall balance of assessments in a course is of vital importance, and although computerised testing facilities can provide a rapid means of assessing and providing feedback to large numbers of students it is essential to consider their use as part of the overall course/unit strategy, especially as multiple choice/limited response type questions can lead to an emphasis on ???shallow learning??™.
Electronic assessment tools are unlikely to reduce significantly the burden of assessment, but they can be used to promote deeper and more effective learning by testing a range of skills, knowledge and understanding.
Using technology in assessment does not have to mean more multiple choice testing to the exclusion of other assessment techniques. A wide range of innovative assessment methods lend themselves to technology based implementation.