Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Assessment 2.0

Assessment is the process of generating and gathering evidence of student learning, such that a judgement can be made about that evidence. Or at least it is in assessment 1.0. This is assessment as we have known it, and its characteristics have changed little in 100 years.

Web 2.0 covers "six big ideas" (Anderson, 2006, cited by Elliott, 2007):
  1. user-generated content
  2. the power of the crowd
  3. data on an epic scale
  4. architecture of participation
  5. network effects
  6. openness
Enter assessment 2.0. In a world where "web 2.0 is life 1.0 for most [younger] students" (Elliott, 2007), it is argued that the type of assessment activity best suited to the digital native will exhibit the following characteristics:
  • Authenticity - assessment of real-world skills and knowledge
  • Personalised - reflecting the knowledge, skills and interests of students
  • Negotiated - assessments may be agreed between teacher and learner
  • Problem-orientated - applying problem-solving skills to realistic tasks
  • Socially constructed - and involving the student's social networks in solving
  • Collaboratively produced - assessment is no longer purely individual and competitive, but recognises skills in collaboration
  • Recognising existing skills - and accrediting these.
Elliott describes assessment 2.0 in the following presentation:

The best site I found offering a collection of examples of assessment 2.0 was this wiki of case studies, from the "Web 2.0 Authoring Tools in Higher Education Learning and Teaching: New Directions for Assessment and Academic Integrity" project (part of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council).

It's a pretty up to date resourse, the case studies having been collected over 6 months in 2010, and include the following:
Social web activitySubject/DisciplineLevel of study
BloggingCultural StudiesUndergraduate

Cinema StudiesUndergraduate

Information ManagementPostgraduate


Media StudiesPostgraduate
Various Web 2.0 toolsEducationPostgraduate
Social networkingLanguagesUndergraduate
Photo sharingCommunication DesignUndergraduate

Virtual worldsLanguagesUndergraduate
Wiki writingAccountingPostgraduate




Information Technology (A)Postgraduate

Information Technology (B)Undergraduate


University College London's Learning Technology Support Service blog refers to a presentation by Prof Geoffrey Crisp which posts on examples of assessment 2.0, including:
  • Examine QuickTime VR image of a geological formation then answer questions based on that – drawing on things wouldn’t be able to see from static image.
  • Examine panograph (scrolling and zoomable image) of Bayeux Tapestry and answer questions drawing together different parts – students selecting evidence from different segments of the tapestry.
  • Interactive spreadsheets – Excel with macros. Students can change certain bits and answer questions on resulting trends in graphs. Can have nested response questions so that the answer to the second is based on first. (But there is a need for care with dependences so that a wrong move early on doesn’t lead to total failure).
  • Chemical structures using the Molinspiration tool. Students can draw molecular structures using the tool and copy and paste the resulting text string into answer which is held in the VLE quiz tool.
  • Problem solving using a tool called IMMEX (‘It Makes You Think’) which tracks how students approach problems. The tutor adds in real, redundant and false information that the students can draw on to solve the problem. They can use it all but the more failed attempts they make the fewer marks they get. We saw an archaeology example in which students had to date an artefact.
  • Role plays which can be done using regular VLE features such as announcements, discussion forums, wikis. Students adopt different personas and enter into discussion and debate through those personas.
  • Scenario based learning – this is more prescriptive than role play. The recommended tool is Pblinteractive.com
  • Simulations – the Bized.co.uk site offers a virtual bank and factory. Students can work within bized then answer questions in the VLE.
  • Second Life (virtual world) assessment in which the avatar answers questions which go back into Moodle.
Examples of these and more are available through the http://www.transformingassessment.com/ site.

Other examples I came across include:

Elliott, B. (2007) Assessment 2.0 - Assessment in the age of Web 2.0. Available: http://www.scribd.com/doc/461041/Assessment-20

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