Enhancing Student Learning through Blending Varied Learning and Assessment Experiences

Enhancing Student Learning through Blending Varied Learning and Assessment Experiences

Paula Hodgson (University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-852-9.ch003
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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to compare the learning opportunities that are available in conventional and the current Web-mediated learning environment in Hong Kong in relation to some of the applications that are available in Web 2.0 and practice-based simulation. Some of these applications can provide faster access to subject-related resources, offer greater connectivity and wider interactions with stakeholders, such as students and professionals locally and overseas, and keep track of students’ learning experiences across their years of university study. Furthermore, Web-mediated assessment can provide faster feedback than conventional paper-based methods, which can streamline the process of reporting and the provision of peer feedback. The potential of and future trends in web-mediated assessment are also discussed.
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Learning: Tradition Versus Innovation

When educators plan a curriculum, they are required to design what to teach and how to teach it in order to bring about desired changes in knowledge and skills. They can deploy a variety of learning challenges in their teaching in order to help students to develop professional skills and to become all-round graduates. Consequently, they need to (1) identify course aims and objectives; (2) define students’ learning needs, which include their current level of understanding of a subject and where this needs to be; and (3) to design learning activities, learning actions required and feedback provided through technologies (Laurillard, 2002). To align the assessment activities with the intended learning outcome, Biggs (2007) stresses the need to provide purposeful assessment activities when planning the curriculum.

Through face-to-face lectures and tutorials, students can interact with teachers and their peers in an environment where facial expression, tone of voice and gestures all contribute to enriched meaning in the process of communication (Tolmie and Boyle, 2000). To transfer abstract theoretical concepts, however, educators need to encourage students to engage in learning tasks that are both relevant and in context, thus allowing them to experience the dynamics of a rapidly changing modern world (Herrington and Herrington, 2006). In order to transform conceptual knowledge into practice, they are offered learning opportunities through the incorporation of a practical component in the curriculum: practising skills in a laboratory, consolidating concepts through projects, and experiencing the real working environment in local or overseas work placements. These blended learning activities aim to assist students to practise, rehearse and reflect on their actions when interacting with their peers and with professionals in the field so as to develop both professional and generic competence.

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