Computer assisted formative assessment: supporting students to become more reflective learners

Whitelock, Denise M. (2007). Computer assisted formative assessment: supporting students to become more reflective learners. In: Constantinou, Constantinos P.; Zacharia, Zacharias C. and Papaevripidou, Marios. eds. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Computer Based Learning in Science (CBLIS '07). Crete, Greece: E-Media, University of Crete, pp. 492–504.



e-Assessment is being advocated in the UK as our way of introducing a more personalised learning agenda throughout the Higher Education sector. This paper discusses the findings from two projects where formative e-assessment has contributed to students taking more control of their own learning. One study set out to provide further insights into the role of electronic formative assessment and to point the way forward to new assessment practices, capitalising on a range of open source tools. The guiding vision was to pilot a series of formative assessments which have the potential to help shape learners as independent thinkers, making their own judgements and decisions about their learning in partnership with their peers and tutors. Other work consisted of evaluating a series of formative assessments given to Philosophy students. Lessons have been learned about the type of feedback that instructors and students think will be most useful and how using theis type of application promotes self reflection. The research reported here starts to illustrate how technology can be adapted to become more 'fit for pedagogical purpose?. The feedback offered by these systems encourages learner metacognition and aims to empower students to reflect and become independent thinkers. This approach sits well within a constructivist paradigm which has often been less well served in the past through formal summative assessment which is not an integral part of the knowledge construction process.

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