E-Assessment, OERs and Learning


E-Assessment, OERs and Learning: exploring a relationship of dependence and mutual benefit

Stylianos Hatzipanagos, King's College London, UK

Conference Theme: Innovation

Summary: The talk will discuss the evaluation of a set of OERs in a multidisciplinary context to establish approaches to e-assesment.

Abstract: Assessment practices have been supported by technology for many years. However the main focus has been on developing tools such as objective tests rather than addressing fundamental issues, such as how they can be used to support effective assessment approaches (Nicol and Milligan, 2006). In the OER context, research has highlighted the relatively common absence of both formal and informal assessment practices, either formative or summative. An increase in non-formal and informal learning can be expected to enhance the demand for assessment and recognition of competences gained outside formal learning settings (Yuan et al 2008), and these create implications for the adoption and uptake of OERs. The talk will explore how can e-assesment components and tools can be embedded effectively in OERs and whether the OER movement can offer any innovative approaches in designing/embedding e-assessment activities in online learning materials. Against the background of an increasing use of electronic assessment in higher education, a range of assessment models will be identified, within a range of disciplinary areas. Different disciplines use different approaches to assessment, however a comparison of approaches can lead to a cross-fertilisation of good practice across the different disciplines under scrutiny. Samuelowitz and Bain’s (2002) differentiation of learning-centred and teaching centred disciplines allows a broad classification of disciplines and overcome the potential disadvantage of following a multidisciplinary approach. The outcomes will be a typology of OER e-assesment practices and tools in diferent disciplines and how they contribute to student learning. The investigation examines assessment in OERs by looking at: (i) The processes of assessing knowledge, skills and competencies gained through learning with OER and whether these processes and their attributes are implicit or explicit in the design of OER. In some cases, assessment in open education can be different from traditional assessment, for example, if a student takes an OpenLearn OU or MIT’s OCW course, there are questions of how that student should be assessed (Downes 2007).

(ii) e-Assessment OERs and how they are integrated into the learning process, e.g. by assessment linked to other OERs or learning and teaching materials. The formative nature of any implicit or expicit assessment in OERs needs tol be examined and evaluated to investigate whether they allow ‘closing the loop’. Since formative assessment is interleaved with the teaching and learning process it is important to examine how OER e-assesment tools are integrated with other learning and teaching resources and whether they are (or have the potential to be) used formatively. The talk will discuss:

The evaluation of a significant set of OERs from national and intenational repositories in a multidisciplinary context to establish approaches to e-assesment. The evaluation of the quality of these e-assessment OERs and the approaches in embedding dialogue with the learner, how feedback is included and how they allow ‘closing the loop’ (Sadler 1989). Whether there is an appropriate format for e-assessment OERs. A set of recommendations on good practice in designing e-assesment tools in OER resources.