Category Archives: assessment

100 ways to use a VLE – #8 Assessment Feedback

In a previous entry in this series I wrote about how the VLE can be used for assignment submission and setting an assessment.

You can of course use the VLE to provide feedback on those submitted assignments or assessments.

Feedback is important to learners, it allows them to reflect on their work, to improve the current future work and improve their potential to finish and succeed on the course, module or programme of study.

Traditionally feedback was written onto the handwritten scripts that the learner submitted.

We have moved along a little since then, it is now, as already mentioned, very easy to set an assessment on the VLE and for the learner to submit their work on the VLE. It closes the circle if the feedback on the assessment is also on the VLE.

Though some practitioners like to write on scripts, this can be challenging if the submitted work is electronic, I know you can say print it off, but what about if the submitted work is a poster, a website, a presentation, a video, an audio recording… quite challenging to write feedback on an audio recording!

It makes much more sense to place this feedback where the learner can access it. Of course feedback needn’t always be textual, and using audio, video or screencasted feedback means the ideal home for this feedback is on the VLE. It needn’t get lost in the pile of papers that most learners carry or in the hundreds of e-mails if it was e-mailed. Most institutional e-mails have a limit on the size of the mailbox and this can cause issues not just for the learner who receives the e-mail but also the practitioner who sends feedback (and they will send it to a whole class).

Remember they may need to access it more than once, especially if they have to resubmit for example. Feedback is not a one off process it can be useful for reflective learners to re-read feedback on not just their latest piece of work, but also past pieces of work so that they can enhance and improve future pieces of work; demonstrate that they do understand and can apply the substance of the course.

Feedback is important, it doesn’t have to be on or live on the VLE, but the VLE can be a useful place to deliver and store feedback on assessments for learners.

Picture source.

100 ways to use a VLE – #95 Setting an Assessment

Assessment is an important check on learning, have the learners understood what they have learnt and can they apply what they have learnt.

Assessment can take many forms, most require not just time from the learner to complete, but also from the assessor in marking the work. It also takes time for all the “paperwork” related to submitting assignments.

Though a VLE can not be used to set and mark all assessments it can be used to make life easier for the assessor in maintaining the “paperwork” of assessment. Have all the learners received the assessment? Have all the learners submitted their assignment? Which learners have submitted on time? Has the assessor graded every assignment? Has the assessor given every learner feedback on their assignment?

The assignment module on Moodle (VLE) can allow for all this making life much easier for assessors to ensure that all the relevant “paperwork” and grading for assignments is done. Learners know that they have submitted and they can use the VLE to access their grade and feedback; they can also re-submit via the VLE too.

The submission process can be undertaken by the learner at a time and place to suit the learner; likewise the assessor can collect in and mark the assignments when and where they want to.

Using a VLE to set an assignment, to ensure that learners submit their assignment, grade and provide feedback can make life easier and better for learners and save time for assessors.

Photo source.

Using video assessment

Rob Whitehouse describes how he used video assessment to improve retention and achievement with his learners. He explores with other curriculum staff in the college their experiences of using video.

Personalisation of Assessment

Traditional assessment models in education often not only clarify the learning outcomes from the assessment, but also the mode of assessment.

For example

Write an essay on the impact of shrinking consumer income on supermarkets.

The learning outcome is quite clearly demonstrate your understanding of how falling consumer incomes will impact on the supermarket business.

But why does it have to be supermarkets?

But why does it have to be an essay?

Couldn’t the learner choose and be actively involved in designing their own assessment and therefore their own learning.

One learner may for example want to produce a radio show (podcast) which demonstrates that they understand how falling consumer incomes will impact on radio stations.

Another learner may want to have an online discussion with others on the impact of falling incomes on the places where they work.

Of course this may make assessment more challenging for the assessor, so how do we deal with that?