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An introduction to Digital Assessment

When we think of assessment, we might typically think of exams, assignments or essays, where the purpose of assessment is to measure student learning for the purpose of progression or certification. However, in recent years our understanding of assessment has evolved and it is now generally recognised that assessment serves a range of purposes and importantly, plays a key role in driving and influencing students’ learning (Brown &  Race 2012). With this in mind, one of the most important roles of assessment is to enhance student learning and prepare students for life and work as a Trinity graduate.  

Digital technologies – including VLE-based tools – provides new ways of designing, facilitating and managing assessment processes. There are various terms used for this – including “Digital Assessment”, “Technology-Enhanced  or Enabled Assessment”, “E-Assessment” or “Online Assessment” and the lexicon around digital assessment is constantly evolving as new practices and understandings emerge.  

In Academic Practice, we use the term “Digital Assessment” which we define as assessment approaches made possible by digital technologies. Therefore, while digital assessment is sometimes understood as referring to assessments which are completed online, our conceptualisation is much broader than this

Digital Assessment = Assessment approaches made possible by digital technologies - JISC 2010

Before designing any digital assessment, it is important to consider the purpose of assessment and the characteristics of effective assessment design. Because digital assessment often involves a change in practice for both staff and students, there are potential challenges or issues that you will need to consider beforehand. Click on the links below for more information - available shortly.