Authentic Assessment through an Online Professional Conference: Barriers and Affordances

Authentic Assessment through an Online Professional Conference: Barriers and Affordances

Michael P. Menchaca (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA), Ellen S. Hoffman (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA) and Curtis P. Ho (University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1936-4.ch010

Abstract

Researchers such as Deutsch and Nicholson (2006) have proposed authentic assessment as a means to connect learning with practice and develop a commitment to life-long learning. Recently, newer forms of distributed technology such as audio-conferencing and social networking have been central in moving learning opportunities beyond the classroom door. In this case study, the authors examine the process of developing and implementing a new culminating assessment in an online graduate program via newer technologies. Culminating student presentations shifted from an in-house, on-campus to an international, online venue. This chapter examines the rationale for the use of an international conference, the design of scaffolds required to support student success in the endeavor, and feedback from faculty and students on learning impacts of virtual conference participation. The case asks questions about viability and provokes debate about the types of experiences institutions should provide students, especially given the access technology can provide.
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Setting The Stage

Acknowledging the challenge of implementing significant change, a number of factors influenced the decision to revise the ETEC Master’s program assessment practices. These included technical, pedagogical, and environmental influences. While the final decisions in adoption and design of a new assessment process were at the discretion of the faculty, institutional and student concerns also had to be regularly considered.

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