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RSCs – Stimulating and Supporting Innovation in Learning

Regional Support Centre for Northern Ireland (RSCni)
Queen's University Belfast
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This section has been developed to give you an introduction to e-assessment and to keep you informed of e-assessment resources, events and other support.

e-Assessment is increasingly being used within the education sector. Technology has a part to play but the most important considerations are the pedagogy and the needs of the learner.

Effective Assessment in a Digital Age

Technology provides ways of enabling students to monitor the standards of their own work. The technology can be designed for the purpose (such ason-screen assessment delivery systems or originality checking software) or adopted from a pool of widely available generic and often open source software and familiar hardware (such as digital cameras or handheld devices).  Sarah Davies, JISC e-Learning Programme Manager, says: "Technologies such as voting systems, online discussion forums, wikis and blogs allow practitioners to monitor levels of understanding and thus make better use of face-to-face contact time. Delivery of feedback through digital audio and video, or screen-capture software, may also save time and improve learners' engagement with feedback."

Effective Assessment in a Digital Age outlines some of the key benefits:

  • better dialogue and communication that can overcome distance and time constraints
  • immediate and learner-led assessment through interactive online tests and tools in the hand (such as voting devices and internet connected mobile phones)
  • authenticity through online simulations and video technologies and risk-free rehearsal of real-world skills in professional and vocational education
  • fast and easy processing and transferring of data
  • improved thinking and ownership through peer assessment, collection of evidence and reflection on achievements in e-portfolios;
  • making visible skills and learning processes that were previously difficult to measure; and
  • a personal quality to feedback, even in large-group contexts.

Accessible Word and PDF versions of Effective Assessment in a Digital Age and full versions of the publication’s case studies can be found on the JISC website  together with details of online resources  for this publication and information about the JISC e-Learning programme.

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