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استاذ تكنولوجيا التعليم المساعد بكلية التربية بالزلفي

support e-assessment

Developing strategies to support e-assessment
University of Dundee
Background
The University of Dundee has around 15,000 students
supported by around 1,000 academic staff. 150-200 of these
use formative and summative e-assessments, mostly in
multiple-choice format, but some are now incorporating
sound and video files. e-Assessment is applied most
extensively in education, law, medicine, life sciences,
nursing and languages, but is evident throughout all 15
schools in the university.
The policy for e-assessment at Dundee is supported in three
ways: departmental e-assessment performance indicators,
a five-week staff development course in online assessment,
and a centralised learning enhancement unit. A wide range
of strategies, such as online submission, peer-assessment
and plagiarism checks, are used to ensure the quality of
students’ work and their experience of e-assessment.
Technologies, systems and policies
The principal tool used for e-assessment at Dundee is
Questionmark™ Perception™. For formative assessments,
this is integrated with the VLE, Blackboard®, which itself
contains a facility for quiz production. Summative
assessments are delivered via a dedicated server running
Questionmark Perception through a secure browser.
A number of the assessments use randomised question
selection. Additionally, there is support for some ad-hoc
approaches using JavaScript™ and Perl™.
e-Portfolios are also used for assessment purposes in
some schools, and with ongoing exploration of online
communication tools, wikis, blogs, and a free text reading
tool, a broad spectrum of practice is emerging. Other
developments include an integrated system for self- and
peer-marking of work submitted online, using an in-house
system for assessment of textual answers.7 Results are
sent by email; alternatively, they may be sent by text
message to a mobile phone.
To encourage staff to acquire new skills, the university has
developed a course in online assessment which forms part
of the university’s Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in
Higher Education and is accredited under the Scottish Credit
Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (SCOTCATS). As it is not
just the mechanics of question production that matter, but
also the value-added effect of the assessment, the course
focuses on the pedagogy of online assessment with topics
such as the effective design of questions and feedback,
strategies for integrating online assessment into face-to-face
practice, and the management of e-portfolios. The course is
delivered online and is optional, but has proved its value by
attracting applicants from outside the university.
All academics receive a copy of the university’s e-assessment
policy and procedures and the administration of summative
assessments is managed by the Director of e-Learning in the
Centre for Learning and Teaching and by staff in the Learning
Enhancement Unit (LEU). The LEU delivers training on the
design and administration of e-assessment, checks tests
before uploading to a server and reinforces the university’s
policy on e-assessment – for example, it is recommended
that any summative assessment is preceded by practice
exercises of a similar type.
Rethinking assessment practice
Changes resulting from an institution-wide e-assessment
policy can be considerable and support staff play a key role
facilitating those changes. Those at the LEU believe that
working from the ground up pays dividends – starting with
systems and servers that are fit for purpose then focusing
on support and staff training, finally ensuring the physical
environment is capable of supporting the demand. LEU staff
stress the need to work collaboratively with classroom
practitioners to successfully manage change – it is not
possible to drive through a policy, only to support its
acceptance.

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