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Launch of report on academic staff uses of technology enhanced assessment in higher education.

Venue | The Trinity Long Room Hub

Date | Wednesday 10th October 2018

TIme | 18.15 - 19.30


Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD will be launching Dr Ann Devitt and Dr Mairead Brady's research report into the use of technology for assessment by academic staff in higher education on Wednesday 10th October. Their research which was funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in partnership with the Irish Research Council provides insight and transparency into a critical issue in education. The event will be opened by the Vice Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Chris Morash. The world-renowned expert in the field of assessment and feedback in third level, Professor David Nicol of the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, will provide the keynote address.

This report examines the evidence for how and where academic staff in higher education use and gain value from technology within the Assessment of/for/as learning domain. The findings show that technology was mainly adopted to foster collaborative learning, scaffold student's self-directed and reflective learning and to provide students with plenty of opportunities for practice. Specific technologies were found to generate efficiencies of time and workload for staff in grading, providing feedback, identifying plagiarism and supporting student self-directed learning. However, these possible efficiencies were sometimes counterbalanced by limiting factors around setting up, managing and maintaining technology within assessment, especially when using social media for assessment. The study also found some evidence that institutional and policy support and critically resourcing is key to embedding technology in assessment in a sustained way.

Dr Devitt, Assistant Professor in Education, Trinity College Dublin said, "Technology has the potential to transform how we assess our students and how they develop their skills as self-directed learners. However to be sustainable and effective we must focus on designs that optimise staff and student effort to focus on what is important, that is, students being fully supported to drive their own learning forward."

Dr Brady, Assistant Professor in Business, Trinity College Dublin adds that: "In the race to adopt technology into higher education this is a very timely report as it showcases the real practical implementation issues that many academic innovator experience while also providing some guidance on how we might progress this critical aspect of third level educational development to enhance rather than detract from the higher order learning needed''.