د/ايمان زغلول قاسم

استاذ تكنولوجيا التعليم المشارك بكلية التربية بالزلفي

e-assessment tools

Challenges and benefits from e-assessment tools
and systems
Adopting e-assessment has more radical implications than
just changing the mode of assessment – it can challenge
assumptions about the way the education system is
structured and change patterns of work for staff and
students.
If examinations can be taken on demand or when a tutor feels
the learner is ready – as is the case with many professional
and vocational qualifications – individuals can be fast tracked
when they excel in certain aspects of the curriculum. This
represents a considerable challenge to the formal education
system, but may increase the motivation of more young
people to stay within it. When interactive online tests are
available for formative assessment, there is evidence that
learners retake tests voluntarily and that availability of these
any time, anywhere, can help to establish more regular
patterns of study.
Interactive tests are a valuable means of engaging learners,
as has been shown by innovative work with formative
assessments on mobile devices designed for disaffected
learners4 or those studying in workplace environments.
Assessments built around virtual worlds can remove the
tedium associated with traditional examinations for all types
and age groups of learners. For many, including those with
cognitive and some physical disabilities, e-assessment can
offer a richer, more engaging, and a potentially more
valid assessment experience than paper-based testing.
The challenge is to make more use of this motivational
potential in high-stakes examinations.
4 Attewell, J (2005) Mobile technologies and learning,
www.lsda.org.uk/files/PDF/041923RS.pdf
To ensure a fully inclusive experience, objective tests must
provide built-in accessibility features that are customisable
for each candidate in advance – a challenge that will increase
in importance as e-assessment is more commonly used. This
is especially the case when teaching staff are responsible for
question authoring. Questions in item banks also need to be
assessed and indexed so that each candidate experiences a
test of equal measure to their ability, regardless of the
combination of questions presented to them in a randomly
generated test. While computer-based assessment may offer
a reduction in the time spent marking, it will for these
reasons shift the focus of effort for staff to before, rather than
after, the examination period. However, a greater variety of
methods used in assessment will undoubtedly benefit those
disadvantaged by pen and paper tests.
What is clear is that understanding of the potential of
e-assessment tools and systems needs to be matched by
awareness of their pedagogic benefits and pitfalls. Perhaps
the greatest challenge to be faced over the next decade is
choosing the best and most appropriate ways of using
these tools.

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