Unless starting out from scratch designing a new method of feedback, users of e-assessment are in my experience limited to the technology that their University or organisation currently use or specify meets organisation feedback guidelines.

I have worked with Moodle, Blackboard and SharePoint implementing feedback via many methods but find multiple choice quizzes one of the easiest to implement. More recently, in fact this week I have used a similar feedback system whilst completing an Edx course as a “learner”.

All of the quiz systems discussed work in a similar vein in that once completed you can “check” the answers that you have entered, thus revealing the correct answer, whilst also revealing explanatory notes on the correct answer. This helps learners understand why the answer they gave was either correct or incorrect with the supplementary supporting notes expanding knowledge and helping learners understand the correct procedure.

Self-directed learning to me works best when there is an “open” approach to a course, users should feel freedom but also responsibility in what they decide to learn. This is not to say that they can simply enrol, coast and or not partake. I’m thinking of the phrase “OCTEL” the MOOC you cannot fail here! But that along with being set a list of goals and levels of participation/pass marks (if quizzes or multiple choice) are used as assessment, that learners can feel supported in their level of activity and what they will achieve from participating on the course. Peer support, can be facilitated using collaborative exercises, and self-assigning groups (those whereby users are able to set up a group and have other learners join).

Technology is key here; there are features on all modern VLE’s that can facilitate this type of course activity.

For tutors there are many challenges in setting up this type of “open” course, I think these are mainly in planning, and meeting with course objectives and guidelines. There is a fine balance in letting the course flow, whilst having some guiding direction. There are also the challenges of dealing with a new or changes to marking procedures and or technologies that are used and reviewed as evidence of participation. These changes may also have to be approved by institutional and or academy moderation boards. There may also be a shift in personal working procedures and processes, I’m thinking of Skype support sessions etc. There are great opportunities alongside the challenges, in that research can be undertaken, via monitoring and feedback from course participants and via external feedback. New processes can be created, and course templates and methods of learning can be planned, devised and developed.

Feedback welcomed.


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