Developing a Roadmap for e-Assessment: Which Way Now?

Whitelock, Denise M. and Brasher, Andrew (2006). Developing a Roadmap for e-Assessment: Which Way Now? In: Danson, Myles ed. Proceedings of the 10th CAA International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference. Loughborough, UK: Professional Development, Loughborough University, pp. 487–501.



e-Assessment is of strategic importance to the UK since it forms an integral part of the e-learning movement which is a major global growth industry. This paper reports results from a project commissioned by JISC which set out to develop a Roadmap for e-assessment.
This methodological approach was drawn from a range of 'roadmap? methodologies collected by Glenn and Gordon (2003). It facilitated the identification of the enabling factors and barriers to the use e-assessment through the construction of a survey which probed a number of experts opinions.
The analysis of the various sources suggest that in England and Wales it is policy pressure which is a main driver and it is affecting more of the FE sector than the HE sector. In the HE sector institutions have more control over the rate and uptake of e-assessment as they award their own degrees. However, there is a recognition in HE that with larger classes and less tutorial time, tutors can keep track of their students? progress through e-assessment systems. They can adjust their lectures accordingly after they have picked up the misconceptions of a cohort through e-assessment feedback. At a personal level teachers/enthusiasts are addressing pedagogical problems through e-assessment.
The barriers identified at a superinstitutional level, for example the . DfES, funding bodies, and examining bodies, are that of regulation, confidentiality and testing of these systems before they go across the UK. While the main drivers at a superinstitutional level are to move towards a new generation of learners engaged in self-reflection who will be able to identify their own learning needs. One of the major drivers for institutions to adopt e-assessment practices is that of student retention. HE and FE also see benefits with respect to attendance and achievement. This paper outlines the methods used and describes key barriers which will have to be overcome if e-Assesment is to be effectively deployed across UK HE and FE sectors.

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