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Christina Smart
20 Apr, 2005
An overview of the assessment theme and links to related projects and resources.

While the e-Learning Programme and the e-Learning Framework covers all aspects of e-learning there are a number of themes or domains that are of particular importance. These themes are; Assessment, Personal Development Planning (PDP), Learning Design and Repositories. Some of these areas have been highlighted by the DfES strategy ‘Harnessing Technology: Transforming learning and children’s services’ as being key areas for development over the next five years and beyond. The e-Learning Programme is now starting to fund cross strand projects in these themed areas.

Teachers have been using computer assisted assessment (CAA) or e-assessment for many years. This is perhaps because, unlike other types of e-learning, there are obvious benefits to teachers in reducing marking time on multiple choice tests. E-assessment is therefore a reasonably mature area of e-learning with a reasonably mature IMS specification QTI 2.0. In addition, there are a significant number of software development projects in the e-Learning Programme that relate to the assessment area reflect that maturity.

The new DfES strategy identifies e-assessment as a priority area (p19):

Priority 3

A collaborative approach to personalised learning activities Transforming how people learn by harnessing the full potential of new technology across all subjects and skill development, and embedding assessment more appropriately within learning and teaching.

The strategy emphasises (p31):

Improving the quantity and quality of e-learning is irrelevant, however, if it is not done within the context of curriculum development. It is crucial that we fully examine the potential for technology to modernise the curriculum and its assessment. ICT supports assessment playing a more formative role – assessment for learning, not just for judging. And we want to see pilots of a wide range of applications of e-assessment: immediate feedback to learners and teachers, online tests, personalised diagnostics, online assessment and accreditation of e-skills, and inclusion of e-skills in the assessment of all curriculum topics. QCA has the lead role in ensuring that we develop a curriculum which prepares learners for life and work in the 21st century.

The strategy identifies the following key action for the 14-19 and post-16 sector (p47):

Action: Promote portability of assessment to support personalised progression.

Milestones: Road map for e-assessment developed by 2006.

JISC is working with Becta to produce a roadmap for e-assessment. Other projects include the development of an e-assessment glossary and a landscape study on the current use of e-assessment in the post-16 and higher education sectors.

Below is a collection of news items, features, projects and presentations on this site which relate to assessment. The collection just provides a list of items for those people interested in assessment, this area will be developed in the future as more resources become available. The most recent resource appears at the top of the list.


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