Designing for Flexibility

But how do I know she did it?

strategies and considerations for assessing at a distance

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If teachers are to engage in new forms of teaching and take advantage of the greatly enhanced teaching options now possible through online and mixed-mode teaching then it stands to reason that we need to unpack assessment options and issues if online teaching and learning is to be maximised.
Effective flexible learning regimes require assessment to be appropriately designed to match the new learning environments and diverse clientele in which assessment is integrated with learning processes and real-life performance as opposed to display of ‘inert knowledge’ (Australian Flexible Learning Framework, 2004)

While tools and technologies easily enable the presentation of learning content and the enabling of interactive activities, the use of non-paper-based assessment options offers some challenges.

In this topic we'll reflect upon and discuss the issues and opportunities associated with assessing in a flexible learning and teaching context. This will be considered in the light of AQTF requirements and administrative demands.

Activity 1

Watch this YouTube video with Stephen Heppell and Marc Prensky - //When do you think assessment will catch up to teaching and learning practice?//
While it's focus is primarily on school education there are some interesting and pertinent implications for us in VET, particularly as we move into Higher Education.
It could be argued that LMS platforms such as Moodle encourage the use of tests and quizzes to the detriment of more valid and reliable 'project' and demonstration based methods.
Would you agree?

Reading 1

Consider your current assessment strategies against the principles of assessment.
Are they:
  • fair,
  • reliable,
  • valid, and
  • flexible: do they offer opportunities for reasonable adjustment
What adjustments could be made to improve the above, offer choice, and enable authentic demonstration of competence from a distance?

In the reading below Victor Callan and Berwyn Clayton report on a 2010 research study into e-assessment in VET. In it they highlight some of the 'tensions' that 'do exist between practitioners and auditors around various forms of e-assessment'.
What procedures could be put in place to minimise these?
E-assessment and the AQTF: Bridging the divide between practitioners and auditors -
Victor Callan from the University of Queensland and Berwyn Clayton from Victoria University for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework in 2010

Activity 2
Consider a trainee undertaking a trades certificate in a remote region.
How might we gather without extensive travel?

The use of head-mounted (POV or ‘point-of-view’) video cameras with microphones is one way being explored to enable trainees to record evidence with supervisor sign-off.
As the National Broadband Network (NBN) rolls out with improved connectivity speeds, this kind of 'real time' video streaming becomes more viable.
Assessors will be able to watch remote trainees undertake tasks while discussing the process.

Program webinar recordings
[DFF] Webinar 4: Unpacking eAssessment

Resources from Nayomie Baihn's presentation:

Key readings

E-assessment National Guidelines - The National VET eLearning Strategy have partnered with the National Quality Council (NQC) to develop a set of National guidelines on e-assessment, as well as present case studies that represent a form of good practice in e-assessment.

Core principles of effective assessment

Relevant Thought Leader Series interviews

Relevant TAFE NSW eHub eCommunities

  • eAssessment
  • Learning Object Composer LOCO - Tool created and supported by the TAFE NSW eHub which allows teachers to easily create quizzes and other learning resources, then publish these to Moodle, MS-Word or HTML.

Additional supporting information

eAssessment resources - Queensland VET Development Centre

Sydney Institute ASQA and audit resources on SydNet

Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Standards for NVR Registered Training Organisations 2012

Diigo Group tagged resources



TAEASS502B Design and develop assessment tools