Assessment is often viewed as a series of one-off events. This means that learners do not benefit from feedback; they lack a sense of longitudinal progress and do not develop self-reliance in managing assessment. Interestingly, although Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) provide tools to manage submissions and feedback, they tend to be organised in module silos. Moodle, for example, does not have a straightforward default solution for tracking a learner’s complete assessment history, despite holding all information required, provided an institution is committed to online submission and feedback.
The JISC Assessment Careers project aimed to reconceptualise assessment from the perspective of an assessment career and use this to transform an institution’s feedback process. An assessment career perspective involves taking a longitudinal view of assessment feedback by building on a learner’s past experiences of assessment as well as current trajectories across a whole programme. Learners and tutors would ideally engage in a feedback dialogue, with a view of addressing longer-term learning and not only short-term corrective goals.
To create a feedback dialogue, students added a reflection on feedback at the time of submission, to which tutors responded. While staff were initially concerned about higher workload, they found that the process did not take up more time, but resulted in a net increase in the volume of feedback. However, to construct a truly longitudinal feedback approach, staff would have to be able to view past feedback given to a student, in order to pick up on longer-term developments.
Institutions usually have established workflows to track grades; these are discussed at exam boards, and they need to be handed over from tutors to central systems. Despite huge improvements in Electronic Assessment Management, the same cannot be claimed for feedback, which is often not shared beyond a single module (Hughes 2014). Even when feedback is stored electronically, VLEs tend to retain it within the module silo, thus preventing easy access for longitudinal feedback tracking.
We developed a Moodle report for tutors to list the assignment submission and feedback history for any student in any module they teach. This includes submissions and feedback from modules that the tutor normally would not be able to access. The report transcends module silos and provides a simple way to gain an overview of a student’s assessment career within the VLE.
Our presentation reports on the initial results from an evaluation study on the experience with the assessment career report. We will present the report itself and data on its perceived benefits and challenges as well as the wider issues raised by the report, including data protection, anxieties around feedback sharing, and impact on institutional policy. The data for the study was collected in the summer term 2014.
Hughes, G. (2014) Ipsative Assessment: Motivation through marking progress. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
|Affiliation||London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London|
Here is a background report on our Moodle-based Student Assignment Report, including pilot evaluation outcomes – just released: