Pedagogy of New Assessment, Measurement, and Testing Strategies in Higher Education: Learning Theory and Outcomes

Pedagogy of New Assessment, Measurement, and Testing Strategies in Higher Education: Learning Theory and Outcomes

Elena Aurel Railean (American University of Moldova, Moldova)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2314-8.ch001

Abstract

This chapter investigates correlations between learning theory and outcomes. Based on the hypotheses that in university pedagogy the assessment strategy should be interrelated with desired learning outcomes of the student, it is clear that assessment directly impacts student minds and behavior. Therefore, within the global context of assessment, measurement, and testing strategies, this chapter critically explores novel educational assessment methodology as a response to the following research questions: What are the main issues, controversies, and problems in the educational assessment? What are the most effective solutions for the development of life-long competence through an affordable assessment strategy? This study presents insights into the assessment theory concerning deviations in the acquisition settings between training and testing. It also provides an outlook for the potential of transfer assessment methodologies to metacognitive training of a particular target group.
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Introduction

Higher education has undergone enormous transformations over the last five decades. By interwoven its cultural path with localization, globalization, and wide acceptance of digital technologies, the higher education strategy is linking to “materialism” (the investment in education depends of the country development) and “the cheapest educational services”, but not to physiological, cultural, psychological and pedagogical development of each individual. Our students are no longer interested in higher education because they have many alternatives to study. Their digital smartphones “help” them to face global challenges. Therefore, they have found values in foreign environments, both real and digital.

The assessment has become an obsession with higher education. On the one hand, whatever we may think, assessment is the currency with which we trade, so the better the grade, the bigger the life-long reward. In this case, starting to Cambridge Dictionary, the term “assessment” describes the act of judging or deciding the amount, value, quality, or importance of something, or the judgment or decision that is made. On the other hand, the role of assessment is to measure the learning progress and, therefore, the learning outcomes described as “deep” or “surface”. The problem is that the affordance of the assessment strategies is low, following the idea that university teachers cannot do the job properly.

To solve this problem let us look at the global educational environment. This environment is full of digital technologies. Digital technologies help us learn and self-assist knowledge smarter, improving, in the same way, the test scores of our students and help them to learn how to learn to be successful. Students can access teachers, resources, and assignments via the web whenever and wherever they have an internet connection. With information at the tips of our fingers, learning is now boundless. Thus, digital technologies can decrease academic time and effort by providing greater access to various types of data, information, and knowledge, enabling immediate and delayed feedback, among other things.

University education does not stop toward the finish of the university days. After all, digital assessment technologies confront global challenges with the canon – the classical assessment theory – and “incorporates” tasks related to recently studied didactical material to assess, measure and test the learning outcomes of students. Without a continued challenge to the assertion of global values, a perpetuation of assessment, measurement, and testing strategies of /for /as learning occurs. As Bryan and Clegg (2006) explain in the Foreword of the book “Innovative assessment in higher education”,

Assessment is a topic about which people have strong opinions, though whether a good understanding of what it is backed up those opinions and how it works is less certain. There is no doubt that many students and teachers would prefer assessment to be different from what they currently experience. However, in what ways should it be different? What should it take into account? Which directions should it pursue? And how can changes be implemented? Assessment seems such a fixed and given part of the educational scene that it might appear to be less susceptible to change than most other features of higher education.

Research on the last years provides evidence that students adopt global, strategic and cue-seeking tactics about assessed specialization but not to teaching content. Moreover, they prefer to have a diploma and certificates that are internationally recognized. For teachers and students to interact in this way is important to change their behaviors, being pro-active, responsible and autonomy. In this chapter, assessment is taken to be the result of successful learning strategies in higher education.

In this chapter, we argue that a theoretically consistent approach to assessment methodology is to interrelate university pedagogy with the desired learning outcomes, and then to map relevant activities and tools along with human and technical (digital resources) against learning goals and an appropriate educational philosophical approach. This approach is intended to enable relevant learning theories in university education. Different learning theories lead to various conceptions of information processing and competence development that influence effective technology use. Given the central functionality of the assessment strategy to help university students acquire relevant learning outcomes, educational technology is fellows travelers.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mutual Assessment: A model of assessment that has involved a team of experts drawn together by a special committee with the expectation that they will work together to solve global issues.

Assessment Skills: The capacity of an individual to compare the actual performance of own skills with the specified standard for performance of that skill under the circumstances specified by the standard.

Degradation Assessment: A scientific approach to assisting and mapping the degradation of knowledge, skills, and competence at different spatial scales, both local and global.

Interactive Feedback: Feedback that takes place in a form of interactive discussion (i.e. a person-to-person session, computer-human interaction, etc.).

Modularization: An approach to designing the university curricula in an attempt to cater to the needs of more diverse student groups and to allow students greater flexibility and choice in managing their studies.

Self-Assessment Skills: Competencies, values, traits, personal characteristics or/and transferable skills that can be assessed using a battery of tests, self-development questionnaire or/and digital tools for assessment on the base on immediate or delayed feedback.

Self-Assessment: The ability to assist yourself to find out the progress in life, work and learning; an important skill that helps to monitor the life to find the weaknesses and strengths components.

Knowledge Degradation: Erosional processes that lowering the quality of learning outcomes.

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