Aligning E-Assessment With Learning Outcomes

Aligning E-Assessment With Learning Outcomes

Rita Falcao (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal) and Alfredo Soeiro (Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5936-8.ch010
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The chapter contributes to establishing a pedagogical framework for the implementation of e-assessment based on learning outcomes. The authors of this work have developed a model for the alignment of intended LOs with e-assessment derived from the concept of alignment defended by different authors. The chapter will describe the ALOA conceptual model for aligning learning outcomes and e-assessment, focusing on specific issues related with e-assessment. The chapter will briefly describe the implementation of the ALOA model in the context of the TALOE project (time to assess learning outcomes in e-learning).
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Since the last half of the 20th Century, the World has been experiencing rapid transformation in the field of Education, led by the changing Knowledge Society. Education and schooling have become a major concern for the society and it is a priority in national and transnational policies. Higher Education (HE) and Continuing Education (CE) have been most affected by this transformation, adapting to the demand for new skills of the labour market and at the same time corresponding to the needs of an increasing number of students. The global economy created opportunity and need for the mobility of students and workers, demanding better recognition of qualifications and increasing competitiveness in this field. The labour market demands more workers qualified and updated. All this, generates pressure towards a quality-based approach in all Education providers. One visible effect of this transformation is the shift from a content-based approach in Education to an approach centred on the student and what she/he has learned and achieved, the Learning Outcomes (LO). In Europe, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) and Continuing Education Institutions (CEI) are redefining programs in terms of Learning Outcomes, harmonizing them with national, international and sector level frameworks of qualifications that are also based on Learning Outcomes. Several projects and initiatives are working towards the definition of LO, specific and transversal that can be used as a common reference. Learning Outcomes are also becoming fundamental for structuring the standards and guidelines of quality assessment of HE and CE institutions. In this context, the assessment of Learning Outcomes becomes a crucial process for the Educational System.

Another major revolution in our society has been the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The use of ICT applied to Education, e-learning, has been increasing and its use creates new opportunities for teaching, learning and assessment and has huge potential as an answer to some of the current challenges of Education. The change to the digital media has impact on the availability, reusability, accessibility and cost of learning resources, complemented by the communication and networking potential of the Internet that takes Education to a Global level. E-learning is promoting change and innovation in different aspects of Education including pedagogy, technology, organization, accessibility, and flexibility among others (Gráinne Conole & Oliver, 2006) . It is a complex and multidisciplinary area and, given its impact, it is important that e-learning research is informed by evidence.

Finally, assessment is a crucial process of Education and is seen by current trends as part of the learning process and not as a separate event. Assessment of student learning encourages involvement of student and provides feed-back to the student and the teacher (Crisp, 2012). It has an important role in validation and certification and is deeply related with quality issues.

The present chapter intends to contribute to establishing a pedagogical framework for the implementation of e-assessment based on learning outcomes. The authors of this work have developed model for the alignment of intended LOs (LOs) with e-assessment, derived from the concept of alignment defended by different authors (J. Biggs, 2007a; J. B. Biggs, 2003; Boud & Falchikov, 2006)

The chapter here proposed will describe the ALOA conceptual model (Aligning Learning Outcomes and Assessment) for aligning learning outcomes and e-assessment, addressing important questions related with e-learning and e-assessment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Reliability (of Assessment): Fairness and consistency between different assessors and within one assessor.

Assessment: A procedure used to estimate student’s learning, independently of the final purpose.

E-Learning: The use of ICT, and the internet in particular, to enhance any component of the teaching and learning process, including design, delivery, and assessment of learning opportunities.

Alignment: The level of correspondence between learning outcomes, instruction, and assessment.

Learning Outcomes: Statements of what is expected from a learner to know, understand, and/or be able to demonstrate after completing of a learning experience.

E-Assessment: The use of ICT and the internet in particular for the assessment of learning, including design, delivery, and/or recording of responses.

Validity (of Assessment): Measuring the right thing, matching what is intended to measure with what is actually measured.

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