A Framework for the Assessment of Wiki-Based Collaborative Learning Activities

A Framework for the Assessment of Wiki-Based Collaborative Learning Activities

Hagit Meishar-Tal (Open University of Israel, Israel) and Mat Schencks (Open University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1770-4.ch016
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This paper discusses the pedagogical and technological aspects of assessing wiki-based collaborative learning activities. The first part of the paper presents a general framework of collaborative learning assessment. The framework is based on four aspects of assessment, characterized by four questions: who, what, how and by whom. The second part of the paper concentrates on the analysis of the applicability of the assessment framework in wikis. A systematic analysis of MediaWiki’s reports is conducted in order to discuss the requisite information required for a well-balanced and effective assessment process. Finally, a few suggestions are raised for further improvements of the wiki’s reports.
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The Challenge Of Assessing Collaborative Learning Activities

Assessment is a key component in the design of a learning activity. Effective assessment can enhance learning satisfaction, and it helps to set expectations of the students and to shape their learning process accordingly (Angelo, 1995; Shepard, 2000). Therefore, the assessment criteria should be clear to the students from the outset. The criteria should be related to the learning outcomes and reflect the goals of the task or learning activity (Angelo, 1995). The assessment should also include feedback and guidance and not just marks or grades (Shepard, 2000). Assessment should be related to the skills and performance of the students, instead of just measuring the learning products (Huba & Freed, 1999).

The assessment of online collaborative learning activities is even more complicated and hence, more difficult to design, as stated by Swan et al. (2006):

The assessment of collaboration requires a radical rethinking of assessment methodologies. Three issues are involved: the variety and kinds of goals for online collaboration, the complexity of assessing both individual and group behaviours, and collaboration on assessment itself (p. 46).

Another way of describing the three issues stated by Swan et al. (2006) is by asking three fundamental questions:

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