Technology in assessments

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For the assessors benefit, as well as the learners, it is essential to keep up to date with changing technology. By introducing technology into the assessment process as much as possible, it will improve all our functional skills in this area. Also by using and taking advantage of technology wherever possible, it will enhance the assessment process.

Technology can be used along with the usual methods of assessment. By using video evidence of skills or performance, it can enhance the assessment process by being able to use visual media creatively. It can improve the ability to summarise and can be used for standardisation or quality assurance.

Evidence can be digitally recorded or observed via a webcam, which is of benefit to all our learners as it allows everyone equal access to assessments wherever they may be. Video conferencing can also take place if you cannot be in the same place as the learner if you need to observe a particular task.

The ability to be able to allow the recording of oral evidence can benefit the assessment process by being able to ask our learners questions online resulting in an immediate result. We can also give support and guidance to our learners. This technology allows online discussions to take place individually or as a group. The leaners are also able to communicate with each other in this way. Their ability to listen, communicate, and sustain a conversation can be improved and assessed as necessary.

Oral evidence can be used to support the observation task and the video evidence. Oral evidence allows self-expression and a way of getting direct evidence by allowing the learner the opportunity to validate their understanding. If a leaner had a visual impairment or dyslexia technology can have a larger part to play in the assessment process by allowing us to ask questions verbally and make an audio recording of our learner’s responses for their evidence.

Using paperless portfolios can enhance the assessment process as evidence can be in the form of data files, scanned documents, audio and video files. Also by keeping learners assessment records and feedback digitally, the records will be better organised, and able to be accessed more quickly than having to look through lots of paper filing systems.

It will not be necessary to print off paper copies of policies, procedures or learner records if they can be stored digitally, so this will be more cost-effective. By using technology one portfolio may comprise of evidence in a number of locations, linked by the audit trail provided through the assessment and quality assurance records.

Computer-based/online testing is beneficial to the assessment process by allowing learners to be able to complete their work online and the assessor marks it and give feedback without printing from anywhere.

Learners can submit written assignments electronically for assessment by email or uploaded to a secure website, this can be done at a time to suit our learners, this method is extremely beneficial for shift workers, full-time workers, or disabled learners, using this method also promotes inclusivity.

Informal feedback can be sent more quickly be email followed up if, necessary by verbal feedback at a later date.

There are numerous new and emerging technologies that are available to be used in the assessment process; some other examples are as follows:

  • Mobile phones and cameras for taking pictures
  • Internet access for research to support assignments
  • Presentation software and equipment for learners to give presentations;

By making the best use of all available technology, and keeping up to date with it, will allow us to make the best use of it for meeting individual learning styles and needs, learner difficulties and/or disabilities. It will also cut down on travel time by not having to travel to assessments regularly.