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Considerations When Choosing Digital Assessments


Part 2: Considerations when choosing Digital Assessment

  • In our Part 2 video, we highlight some critical considerations when thinking about the use of Digital Assessment in Higher Education

Topics Raised:

  • What resources are available to students and staff (material, training, skills)
  • Considerations and Consequences when working in Digital Spaces
  • Reflective aspect of Assessment
  • Flexibility in Assessment

Full transcript:
[Part Two: Considerations when choosing digital assessment.

When discussing the use of digital assessment, there are a number of worthwhile reflections and essential considerations that need to be hard. Number one, what resources are available? Before we can implement digital assessment into the curriculum, we need to know that both students and staff have the necessary resources and training available to them to produce or mark a digital assessment. So, what does the marking scheme for digital assessment look like? For example, how can convenors who are less familiar with digital assessment be supported in providing these marking schemes? Where can students access to technology and resources they require? What pre assessment materials exist for example, videos files or podcasts explaining how to use the digital software or mediums required or expected without these presets resources. How can students be expected to produce digital assessments? And how does the lack of pre assessment material impacts the equality of opportunity in regards to outcomes when different students entering the module may have different existing capacities in relation to the use of technology?

Additionally, how does reflection on training and skill sets often elevate deficit language? For example, we all have different organisational preferences, and minds and ways of thinking. When someone says they struggle with Microsoft Teams. For example, we jump to offering training where can we strike balance between a lack of experience with a technology and a preference against it in preference for another for example, zoom. When we think about the use of digital assessment, the student or convener struggles it is important that we collectively strike a balance between offering the necessary tools and at the same time not assuming deficit language with or about that student or convener.

Number two: Digital Space.

When engaging with digital assessment and hence frequently in digital spaces, it is important to consider some of the consequences of existing within these spaces. For example, while digital space offers huge opportunity in regards to accessibility and the dissemination of knowledge, it also poses questions around privacy, data ownership and relationships with cyber selves. If you can dream is wish to showcase student work online or students wish to put their work into cyberspace. reflection on students relationships with these spaces and how this may impact their experience. having their work online is worth consideration. Number three recommendations equally and as a recommendation as many students and staff will be new to digital assessment. Offering flexibility will further support the likelihood of digital assessment being adopted. So for example, offering flexibility with weightings allowing students to decide how much their digital assessment is worth compared to their traditional academic assets. Say for example, students are agents over their own outcomes, ie they can weigh the assessment they prefer heavier. While some may choose to weigh the essay heavier due to experience of essays, others may choose to weigh the digital assessment heavier due to their preference for technology, their dislike of traditional assessment, or due to the amount of time the digital assessment takes.

Which brings me to my next point. For those unfamiliar with digital assessment, do not underestimate how long they take. Digital assessments can be very time consuming, so offering flexible weighting is in many ways preferable to waiting too low, which makes the amount of time put in feel wasted or too high, which makes adopting a new medium such as additional assessment feel more intimidating. Furthermore, offer a reflective element to the assessment using digital assessment is going to be new for many students and staff who choose to adopted so having your effective aspect of the assignment offers students the opportunity to explain what went well. What didn't go well what they wish they had from the start from whether or not the final piece goes perfectly or terribly how the student engaged with the medium and the experience is as important as the outcome.

This way students know that their technical abilities aren't as important as their experience of utilising them and expressing their learning. And further staff can hear from students what was difficult in order to offer support in those areas for the next cohort of students. And finally, through this period, we've been offered an opportunity to reimagine assessment. And I think a significant part of this will be reimagining how we understand the student staff relationship and expectations on both around assessment through re evaluating how we see the other, we can humanise assessment and they bear some of the foundations of the cultures we have built around assessment for restructuring. All of which I will discuss in the final part of this collection, Part Three: On Assessment Culture]

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Meet the team

These resources were created by a co-creation team of students and staff in the Faculty of Arts. Student creators: Charlotte Crabtree (English), Lucia Evans (SMLC), Lily Rose Fitzmaurice (Liberal Arts), Weiqi Guo (Film & TV), Beccy Lee (History) and Ishraq Subhan (History/Politics).

The project was funded by the Warwick International Higher Education Academy (WIHEA), and lead by Dr. Rebecca Stone (Faculty of Arts) with Dr. Bryan Brazeau (Liberal Arts) as a project partner and Mr. Todd Olive (Graduate, Global Sustainable Development).

Many thanks to Damien Homer, Jess Humphreys, Bo Kelestyn, Heather Meyer, Robert O'Toole and Elena Riva, for their time and expertise.

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