Did you really do this? E-authentication raising confidence in e-assessment

Edwards, Chris; Whitelock, Denise and Okada, Alexandra (2019). Did you really do this? E-authentication raising confidence in e-assessment. In: 9th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning - Innovations for Quality Education and Lifelong Learning (PCF9), 9-12 Sep 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland.

URL: http://oasis.col.org/handle/11599/3378


As many universities increase their online provision, there is a growing need for advances in at least one aspect of e-assessment: that of ensuring the individual doing the assessment is who the institution thinks they are, eauthentication. When online assessment is used solely for formative assessment, where assessment and feedback are focussed on learning rather than evaluating for the award of credit, this is not an issue. However, where online assessment is intended to contribute to a student's overall grading, institutions must be confident it is the student's work that is being marked. In the current environment this constraint places strong limits on the options for online assessment.

The EU-funded TeSLA project - Adaptive Trust-based e-Assessment System for Learning (http://tesla-project.eu) has developed a suite of instruments aimed at addressing this need. The suite is designed to integrate within a university's virtual learning environment and includes face recognition, voice recognition, keystroke dynamics, forensic analysis and plagiarism detection. These tools were trialed across the seven partner institutions and participating students (4,058, including 330 SEND) and teaching staff (54) completed questionnaires that revealed their views.

This paper describes the findings of this large-scale study where over 50% of students gave a positive response to the use of these tools. In addition, over 70% agreed that these tools were 'to ensure that my examination results are trusted' and 'to prove that my essay is my own original work'. Teaching staff also reported positive experiences of TeSLA: the figure reaching 100% in one institution. We show there is some evidence that student perceptions of trust can shift between their pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Therefore, highlighting the risk that whilst students remain positively disposed to the institution there may be some diminution of trust associated with the introduction of new technologies into the student experience.

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