Along with around another 270 people, attended the eAssessment Scotland Conference on 26 August at the University of Dundee. It was a thought provoking day, with lots of examples of some innovative approaches to assessment within the sector.
Steve Wheeler got the day off to a great start talking us through some of the “big questions” around assesment, for example is it knowledge or wisdom that we should be assessing? and what are the best ways to do this? Steve also emphasised the the evolving nature of assessment and the need to share best practice and introduced many of us to the term “ipsative assessment”. The other keynotes complemented this big picture view with Becka Coley sharing her experiences of the student perspective on assessment and Pamela Kata showing taking us through some of the really innovative serious games work she is doing with medical students. The closing keynote from Donald Clark again went back to some of the more generic issues around assessment and in particular assessment in schools and the current UK governments obsession with maths.
There is some really great stuff going on in the sector, and there is a growing set of tools, and more importantly evidence of the impact of using e-assessment techniques (as highlighted by Steve Draper, University of Glasgow). However it does seem still quite small scale. As Peter Hartley said e-assessment does seem to be a bit of a cottage industry at the moment and we really more institutional wide buy in for things to move up a gear. I particularly enjoyed the wry, slightly self-deprecating presentation from Malcolm MacTavish (University of Abertay Dundee) about his experiments with giving audio feedback to students. Despite being now able to evidence the impact of audio feedback and show that there were some cost efficiencies for staff, the institution has now implemented a written feedback only policy.
Perhaps we are on the cusp a breakthrough, and certainly the new JISC Assessment and Feedback programme will be allowing another round of innovative projects to get some more institutional traction.
I sometimes joke that twitter is my memory of events – I tweet therefore I am mentality 🙂 And those of you who read my blog will know I have experimented with the Storify service for collating tweets from events. But for a change, here is my twitter memory of the day via the memolane service.