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A glimpse of the future


e-Assessment with mobile phones

The eViva project, developed by Ultralab at Anglia Polytechnic University and funded by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), has shown the potential of mobile phones and online portfolios as tools for assessment. Candidates in Key Stage 3 in ICT worked in two stages:

  • An online portfolio of work annotated and reflected on by the pupils themselves.
  • A concluding 'viva' which could be taken via a mobile phone.

The results have been positive. Having their own learning space in the form of an online portfolio was found to increase pupils' motivation and engagement. Teachers were also able to work more easily on a one-to-one basis with individuals, while the group continued to annotate and develop examples of their work online.

For the final part of the assessment, a sound file or 'voice postcard' was recorded to verify candidates' identities. The next step for the pupils was to complete a series of 'I can' statements to find an appropriate level of questions for the final viva before registering themselves as ready for the test. With their learning milestones achieved, the last step was to answer recorded questions via a phone.

This innovative approach to assessment gives an in-depth view of learners' progress, showing their thought processes as well as their final achievements. It also empowers candidates to take a more active part in the assessment of their learning. Could this combined use of e-learning and mobile technologies play a more significant part in the future of assessment?

A demonstration of eViva can be found on the eViva website.