A Reliable, Efficient, Affordable and User-friendly Approach for Online Assessment in Distance Education
2011 (English)In: Never Waste a Crisis!: Inclusive Excellence, Innovative Technologies and Transformed Schools as Autonomous Learning Organisations / [ed] Sofoklis Sotiriou & András Szucs, 2011, 18-25 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
In the assessment of the students in higher education, cheating and plagiarism have always been of major problem. This problem is also a rapidly growing phenomenon in Sweden. The number of students suspended from courses in tertiary education increased by 56% in 2010 and the plagiarism has been the most common violation. Online distance courses with students spread out geographically need online assessment approaches to save time and avoid travel expenses. E-learning and distance education have during a long period been criticized for the overuse of “True/False tests” and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) tests. To assure deep learning we want to promote the idea of open ended project assignments where students can practice techniques from the course content in real world applications. To verify authentication and avoid plagiarism we have developed a low cost approach that we have tried to make user-friendly and efficient. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss how our video conference presentation approach for online assessment in distance courses could be conducted in a reliable, efficient and affordable manner. Course content and the assessment approach were developed in parallel iteratively during the first half of 2011. Ideas and techniques have been discussed with colleagues and students before the course starts. Technically the presentations worked perfectly, but on slow Internet connections the video transfer was not clear and the voice was not synchronized with the video. From a psychological perspective the presentations were a bit stiff and formal but that is often the case in other forms of assessment and authentication as well. Findings show that the approach is a very reliable and accurate way of assessment in a sense that the teacher can see and hear the student while he is presenting his work and also saves time and travel costs for students and teachers. We do not think that any courses ever will be 100% protected from plagiarism and no model for assessment will ever make all students happy. But we find our approach to be secure enough for university courses and that it does not make the students more uncomfortable and stressed than what the case is in traditional written exams.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. 18-25 p.
Online assessment, Plagiarism, Distance education, E-learning, Technology enhanced learning
Research subject Computer and Systems Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-64338ISBN: 978-963-87914-7-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-64338DiVA: diva2:457218
EDEN Open Classroom Conference, Athens 27-29 October 2011