Dr Tatyana Micic
The transfer to online teaching in 2020/21 at SMCSE had a profound effect on postgraduate teaching and learning. Online delivery has created a need to revisit the design of assessments. Firstly, to address the balance between formative and summative assessment components to support student learning in the online environment, to provide feedback that is timely and finally, due to the change in weighting of the final (exam), a summative component, for award of credits and classification.
Online delivery presented a challenge for the diverse group of 1st year MSc students. Finding their bearings in the new environment, understanding gaps in their prior knowledge, getting to know the peer group and keeping the motivation with the programme and prospects after graduation were more challenging than previously. A sample module from the MSc in Engineering discipline has addressed these issues using minor changes to teaching pattern and a substantial redesign of the assessment. The paper demonstrates a successful assessment redesign that has relied on VLE (Moodle) capabilities. The redesign introduced continuous assessment, delivered engagement from students, provided timely feedback to support learning without increasing the marking burden on the academics.
The use of continuous assessment requires careful balance to ensure manageable workload for students as well as the balance between formative and summative components of the assessment. For the online assessment in the numerate discipline, collusion creates a major challenge, thus threatening the benefits from continuous, formative, assessment and the paper demonstrates a workable and rigorous solution.
The paper demonstrates the structure of continuous assessment that overcomes the critical issues using the WIRIS Quiz function. Due to default automation, almost immediate feedback was provided, thus establishing the reference point for additional 1-2-1 feedback and student’s continuous engagement. The paper demonstrates that the final module assessment outcomes were in line with previous years.
Slides from the session
Recording of the session:
Paper 2 starts from 26:54 into the recording.
Hernández, R. (2012). Does continuous assessment in higher education support student learning? Higher Education, 64(4), 489-502.