Formative e-assessment: Practitioner cases

Pachler, Norbert; Daly, Caroline; Mor, Yishay and Mellar, Harvey (2010). Formative e-assessment: Practitioner cases. Computers and Education, 54(3) pp. 715–721.



This paper reports on one aspect of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)-funded project 'Scoping a vision of formative e-assessment', namely on cases of formative e-assessment developed iteratively with the UK education practitioner community. The project, which took place from June 2008 – January 2009, aimed to identify current theories and practices relating to formative assessment of learning where technologies play a key role. The project aimed to scope the 'domain' of formative e-assessment, by developing cases of practice and identifying key formative processes within them, which are affected by the use of technologies. From this analysis, patterns were extracted to inform future software design. A discussion of the key issues emerging from the review of the literature on formative e-assessment, a full account of the project methodology – the design pattern methodology – as well as a critical discussion of the findings – namely the patterns and the role of technology – are the focus of a separate paper (see Daly et al (forthcoming). This paper documents how cases of formative e-assessment were developed during the project by a collaborative methodology involving practitioners from a range of post-16 education contexts. The cases were analysed with reference to key theoretical perspectives on formative assessment, particularly the work of Black and Wiliam (2009). In addition, Laurillard's Conversational Framework (2002, 2007) was used to locate practices of formative assessment within a wider concept of learning and teaching involving technologies, although a detailed discussion of the latter is not within the scope of this paper.

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