ED-MEDIA 2008 paper: Reframing assessment: Using social software to collect and organise learning.
Abstract: Assessment is a fundamental ingredient in the teaching and learning process, yet there is an increasing body of literature expressing dissatisfaction with current assessment policy and practices in higher education that challenges the appropriateness of assessment to address the future needs of students in a rapidly changing information rich environment. The paper will provide a framework for designing assessment with social software and a examples of options for alternative, authentic assessment methods that collect and organise evidence of learning, suggesting that this process can foster the development of self-directed learners, resulting in discretely embedded learning activities that promote problem-solving and knowledge development beyond the boundaries of the classroom and institution.
How can social software be used to reframe assessment?
University students in Anne’s class created a blog (using WordPress) to write as well as collect and publish content — this was their individual portfolio. Also used:
- Delicious, tag clowds
- A community site for discussion between students — this became one of the most dominant spaces for interaction
- A wiki for collaborative tasks
What was found was that the open and social online behaviour made students think about what they publish. They began to critically reflect on the sources of content that they chose to link to. Having the tools to search for and organise content relevant to them and in ways that they choose proved an effective and stimulating exercise for the students.
Author: Anne Bartlett-Bragg, University of Technology Sydney, Australia