Monday, 14 July 2014

Benefits and Challenges of Online Assessments

Benefits of instant feedback

Motivational - the 'immediacy' confirms the learner's success or [provides encouragement to do something differently in order to achieve success

Timely - immediate feedback ensures that an issue can be resolved whilst the learner is still focused on the problem. There is no 'lag' whereby interest has waned or even the original answer is forgotten.

Appropriate - being impartial, directed feedback fits the question and assists in learner's improvement. The learner is not overwhelmed with too much information

Aid and deepen understanding - the feedback is designed to promote a conceptual understanding of a problem, which is gained when learners are prompted to consider alternatives strategies to achieve a 'correct' answer.

Aid Progression - improves overall learning outcomes giving learners the confidence to progress with their learning

Learner Led - Flexibility in terms of accessing both the assessment material and receiving feedback, not tied to locations, specific times or days

Encouraging responsiblity for learning - learners are in control of whether they solicit feedback and the degree to which they act on the feedback

Speedier interventions - lecturers/tutors can intervene quickly; if a learner is experiencing difficulties, rather than having to wait for face to face contact

Additional Learning  - Feedback can include links to previous learning sessions or additional supportive materials, that are easy to access

Inclusiveness - support all learners regardless of their backgrounds, physical needs, language etc.

Linked to outcomes - The feedback is relevant to the overall goals as well as specific error

Integrated with online learning systems - can be integrated with institution's learning systems, enabling recording of feedback and ability in some cases to track learner's progress vis a vis the feedback

Low cost - once running it is cheap to maintain and edit

Scaleability - no limits to the numbers of people accessing the assessments and receiving feedback

Challenges of instant feedback

Limitations -  the feedback is only as good as the creator of the quiz/questionnaire and their ability to identify potential errors that students may demonstrate

Students' confidence - students may not be fully confident with the online feedback and choose to ignore it

Costly setup - the initial set up of online feedback systems can be time consuming and in turn more expensive than face to face sessions

Bugs and glitches - can demotivate

Generic feedback - may be deemed unhelpful by some learners who may regard further feedback as time wasting

Quality - ensuring that the feedback is of quality and value to the learner

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