The world of eAssessment (electronic assessment) is not new, in fact, it’s far from it. An early example in the late 1980s by Cambridge Assessment involved secretarial typing exams in MS-DOS (Craven, 2009). In the decades since, eAssessment has evolved and continues to evolve.
Over the years, a wealth of information surrounding topics that invariably run alongside eAssessment has developed, such as pedagogy (or ePedagogy) (Hench, 2014), learning analytics (Jordan, 2014) and Bring Your Own Device (Kuppers and Schroeder, 2017). A topic that is less frequently addressed, however, is how an organisation chooses [an] eAssessment platform(s). Many people know what they want to achieve with regards to eAssessment, but need a starting point and a platform in order to make a change.
It has been nearly 10 years since Whitelock (2009) wrote an editorial for the British Journal of Educational Technology, opening with the following statement:
“e-Assessment has been recognised as a fundamental strand of any unified e-learning strategy, which is… increasingly more complex […] with the advent of more software suppliers and developers producing assessment products.”
This situation has continued to expand; potentially making a straightforward process complicated, and, at least in part, explains why the adoption of eAssessment within Higher Education Institutions is slow.
Historically, within the institution in which this project is based, the majority of formative and summative assessments have taken place in ‘traditional’ settings such as exam halls, using pen and paper. With the changing Higher Education landscape, however, the need for moving towards eAssessment has never been greater. The pressures on resources are increasing exponentially along with a growing student population. It was established that there is a need for a dedicated eAssessment platform that, in the first instance, meets the needs of its early-adopter division.
The outcomes of the eAssessment platform adoption are expected to be decreased administration hours, reduced marking time, and improvements in student feedback with regards to assessment and their overall experience.
The process of choosing an eAssessment platform was a challenging task, taking 18 months of hard work and following a rigorous process. Craven (2009) notes that aspects of the technology which need to be considered include: “reliability, validity, accessibility, efficiency, feedback, [and] speed” without compromising the quality of the learning.
There are important messages and ‘lessons learnt’ that have come out of the process that will prove to be valuable to the learning technology community, regardless of the scale in which they are tackling this issue. By sharing these lessons and how they become successes, it is hoped this will start a much needed discussion about processes and the importance of networking when making large-scale decisions in learning technology and, specifically, within eAssessment.
This presentation will explore the process of choosing an eAssessment platform, including: requirements gathering; identifying potential suppliers; demonstrations; analysing feedback; project management; student engagement; and culture change.
Craven, P. (2009). History and challenges of e-assessment: the “Cambridge Approach” perspective–e-assessment research and development 1989 to 2009. [Online] Cambridge Assessment. Available at: http://www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/images/138440-history-and-challenges-of-e-assessment-the-cambridge-approach-perspective-e-assessment-research-and-development-1989-to-2009-by-patrick-craven.pdf [Accessed 5th March 2019]
Hench, T. (2014). e-Assessment: past, present and future. [Online] International Journal of e-Assessment. Available at: https://ijea.org.uk/index.php/journal/article/view/64 [Accessed 5th March 2019].
Jordan, S. (2014). E-assessment for learning? Exploring the potential of computer-marked assessment and computer-generated feedback, from short-answer questions to assessment analytics. [Online] PhD thesis The Open University. Available at: http://oro.open.ac.uk/41115/7/Jordan-PhD-%20Part%201.pdf [Accessed 5th March 2019].
Kuppers, B., Schroeder, U. (2017). E-Assessment and Bring Your Own Device. [Online] ITiCSE ’17 Proceedings of the 2017 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. Available at: https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3072994&preflayout=flat#indexterms [Accessed 5th March 2019].
Whitelock, D. (2009). e‐assessment: developing new dialogues for the digital age. [Online] British Journal of Educational Technology. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00932.x [Accessed 5th March 2019].