Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week No. 11: E- assessment

On this week of our ICTs in ELT course, our facilitator, Professor Evelyn Izquierdo, taught us how to evaluate our students´online tasks. In addition, she stated the differences between assessment and evaluation defining each term.
Assessment occurs when gathering of evidences of students´ performance is carried out over a period of time to measure their learning and understanding. The evidences of learning can be dialogues, journals, written works, portfolios, exams along with many other learning activities.
On the other hand, evaluation takes place when a grade is stated after the conclusion of a task, exam, quiz, lesson or learning activity. A grade on a speech will determine if the student can command and transfer a specific content, command language and use appropriate audio-visual aids and this would be considered as an evaluation.

E-assessment is becoming widely used. It has many advantages over traditional (paper-based) assessment. The advantages include:
- lower long-term costs
- instant feedback to students
- greater flexibility with respect to location and timing
- improved reliability (machine marking is much more reliable than human marking)
- greater storage efficiency - tens of thousands of answer scripts can be stored on a server compared to the physical space required for paper scripts
- enhanced question styles which incorporate interactivity and multimedia.

There are also disadvantages. E-assessment systems are expensive to establish and not suitable for every type of assessment (such as extended response questions). The main expense is not technical; it is the cost of producing high quality assessment items - although this cost is identical when using paper-based assessment.


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