Reframing e-assessment: adopting new media and adapting oldframeworks

Whitelock, Denise and Watt, Stuart (2008). Reframing e-assessment: adopting new media and adapting oldframeworks. Learning, Media and Technology, 33(3) pp. 151–154.



Over the past 10 years, learning and teaching have benefited from greater use of social constructivist and situated learning, through more widespread adoption of the ideas of Dewey, Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner (e.g., Lave and Wenger 1991; Brown 2004). However, assessment has consistently failed to follow through these innovations, substantially because it squares the desire for improved constructivist learning against the demand for institutional and external reliability and accountability. Consequently, assessment has not kept pace with these developments and has remained largely transmission orientated in both conception and practice (Knight and Yorke 2003).

This new generation of e-assessment is still in its early days, but its foundations are broader and more solid. No longer the speciality of a technologically-aware few, the pedagogical, social and even political dimensions of the problems of e-assessment are better known. Wide access to the knowledge and tools needed to deploy and develop innovative technology for learning has blurred the boundaries between pedagogical and technical specialists. Institutional support has improved, and open source virtual learning environments are being built by people who know both pedagogy and technology. E-assessment is starting to deliver measurable and successful improvements; but there is still much work to be done.

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