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Orientation module for the New Assessment Methods Course


What do we mean with new assessment methods? There are many assessment methods and some of them are older and some more modern. In general student centered assessment methods, as well as more process oriented assessment methods, can be seen as new methods compared to teacher centered tests and other traditional summative assessment. In this course we see as new methods of assessment all those methods which support the principle assessment is for learning and not only assessment of learning. The aim of these new assessment methods is, thus, to support learning and promote learning to the next step and in lifelong learning.

Assessment, rather than teaching, has a major influence on students’ learning. It directs attention to what is important and it has a powerful effect on what students do and how they do it. Still assessment focuses little on the processes of learning and on how students will learn after the points of assessment. There has been many innovations in assessment such as portfolio assessment, self- and peer assessment, authentic assessment and so on. Still to date there has been little effort to bring these together around the major purpose of equipping students to learn for the long term. Students also need to develop their own repertoire of assessment related practices that they will be able to use when confronted with learning challenges throughout their working lives. (Boud & Falchikov 2007, 5-7). Social media provides new possibilities for teaching and learning but also to assessment.

Use of technology in assessment

In e-Assessment we can divide into two paradigms of assessment: one has strong connection to student centered methods and the other one takes advantage of a computers capacity to gather and process big amounts of data (examples of these are adaptive testing and e-testing where we don't concentrate during this course). Althought the use of technology may be innovative in assessment, the type of assessment being used may not be so. This is why the concept map we made for this course doesn't have so many new assessment methods.

The use of technology to support assessment practices has a long history. Yet the focus to date has largely been developing online objective tests rather than on using technologies to address fundamental educational issues. e-Tools are effective when they are allied to assessment approaches that enchance the students' ability to generate internal feedback against standards and to self-regulate their learning. Current technologies can support these processes. Tools to support self-assessment are available, as are tools to support the delivery of teacher and peer feedback, although more research is required to determine the effectiveness of different type of teacher feedback. It is also easy to support dialogic feedback through web-based systems (e.g., VLEs). Overall, new technologies are not only leading to new ways of enhancing current assessment practices and offering new possibilities (e.g., assessing online discussion) but are leading to deeper thinking about how we conceptualise assessment in higher education. (David Nicol and Colin Milligan 2007, 74.)

Examples of assessment methods

Outcomes-based approach to the assessment of learning

What is peer assessment?

Resources for your learning

Continuous and formative assessment. Interview of Lourdes Guárdia, Open University of Catalonia

Recommended Literature

Further Links and Useful Resources

List of new assessment methods, possible activities they mean and variety of tools that are available for them: Media:Assessment_Methods.pdf http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiversity/beta/6/66/Assessment_Methods.pdf


Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age

Assessment for learning

Assessment for Learning: 10 principles

Assessment for learning guidance

Innovative assessment across the disciplines

A Study on the Effective Use of Social Software by Further and Higher Education in the UK to Support Student Learning and Engagement


Think about your own course, students and aims of your organisation. What is needed: assessment of learning or assessment for learning? What kind of methods does your plan & practise emphasize? Do needs of organisation, teacher and students differ? If yes, what could be the compromise?