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    New E-Book on Assessment, Feedback and Technology

    By Tim Neumann, on 1 November 2017

    UCL Digital Education Advisory members contributed to a new Open Access e-book that provides valuable insight into the way technology can enhance assessment and feedback. The book was launched formally on 26th October by Birkbeck College Secretary Keith Harrison, with talks from the editors Leo Havemann (Birkbeck, University of London) and Sarah Sherman (BLE Consortium), three case study authors, and event sponsor Panopto.

    Havemann, Leo; Sherman, Sarah (2017): Assessment, Feedback and Technology: Contexts and Case Studies in Bloomsbury. London: Bloomsbury Learning Environment.
    View and download from: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.5315224.v1

     

    The Book

    E-Book thumbnail

    E-Book Cover

    The book is a result of a two-year project on e-assessment and feedback run by the Bloomsbury Learning Environment (BLE), a collaboration between five colleges, including the UCL Institute of Education, on issues around digital technology in Higher Education. It contains three research papers which capture snapshots of current practice, and 21 case studies from the BLE partner institutions and a little beyond, thus including practice from wider UCL.

    The three papers focus on

    • the use of technology across the assessment lifecycle,
    • the roles played by administrative staff in assessment processes,
    • technology-supported assessment in distance learning.

    The case studies are categorised under the headings:

    • alternative [assessment] tasks and formats,
    • students feeding back,
    • assessing at scale,
    • multimedia approaches, and
    • technical developments.

    Seven of the 21 case studies were provided by UCL Digital Education colleagues Jess Gramp, Jo Stroud, Mira Vogel (2), and Tim Neumann (3), reporting on examples of blogging, group assessment, peer feedback, assessment in MOOCs, student presentations at a distance, and the UCL-developed My Feedback Report plugin for Moodle.

     

    Why you should read the e-book

    Launch Event Photo

    BLE E-Book Launch Event

    As one of the speakers at the entertaining launch event, I suggested three reasons why everybody involved in Higher Education should read this book, in particular the case studies:

    1. Processes in context:
      The case studies succinctly describe assessment and feedback processes in context, so you can quickly decide whether these processes are transferable to your own situation, and you will get a basic prompt on how implement the assessment/feedback process.
    2. Problems are highlighted:
      Some case studies don’t shy away from raising issues and difficulties, so you can judge for yourself whether these difficulties represent risks in your context, and how these risks can be managed.
    3. Practical tips:
      All case studies follow the same structure. If you are in a hurry, make sure to read at least the Take Away sections of each case study, which are full of tips and tricks, many of which apply to situations beyond the case study.

    Overall, this collection of papers and case studies on assessment and feedback is easily digestible and contributes to an exchange of good practice.

     

    View and Download the Book

    The e-book is an Open Access publication freely available below.

    For further information, see ble.ac.uk/ebook.html, and view author profiles at ble.ac.uk/ebook_contributors.html

     

    About the BLE:
    The Bloomsbury Learning Environment is a collaboration between Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Royal Veterinary College (RVC), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS),  UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and the University of London with a focus on technologies for teaching and learning, including libraries and administration.
    See www.ble.ac.uk for more information.

    What’s on the Horizon? The potted version

    By Fiona Strawbridge, on 9 February 2011

    The annual Horizon Report, published by the ‘New Media Consortium’ tries to predict which technologies are going to be important for higher education over the next 5 years. It’s actually a very good read.  The 2011 edition is just out now at: http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2011-Horizon-Report.pdf. Here’s a potted version:

    Key trends, as in 2010, are:

    • Abundance of resources and relationships made accessible via the internet is challenging the roles of educators and institutions.
    • People expect to work wherever and whenever they want.
    • Increasingly collaborative world of work is prompting reflection on the nature of students’ projects.
    • Increasing use of cloud-based technologies and decentralised IT support.

    Critical challenges:

    • Digital media literacy is a key skill for all, but not well-defined nor universally taught. Pace of change of technology exacerbates problem.
    • Difficulty of finding metrics for evaluating new forms of scholarly publishing.
    • Economic pressures and new educational models are challenging traditional models of the university.
    • Staff and students are struggling to keep up with pace of technological change , and with information overload.

    The report describes the top six ‘technologies to watch’. Open content and visual data analysis have disappeared, and  new in this year are game-based learning and ‘Learning Analytics’ (which looks intriguing).  They have three ‘horizons’ and the report describes the technologies in detail – and points to case studies.

    Technologies to watch in the near term (12 months)

    • E-books, e-readers with note-taking facilities, some augmentation of functions to allow immersive experiences and social interaction.
    • Mobiles – increasingly users’ first choice for internet access.

    Technologies to watch in 2-3 years

    • Augmented reality – layering info on top of representation of the real world: access to place-based information.
    • Game-based learning, from simple individual/small group games to massively multiplayer online games – ability to foster collaboration, problem solving, procedural thinking.

    Technologies to watch in 4-5 years

    • Gesture-based computing
    • Learning analytics, along with data gathering and analysis tools to study student engagement, performance and practice in order to inform curriculum & teaching design and enhance the student experience.