Bringing assessment up-to-date with the ways people learn

Ayrshire College’s new look learning technology team has been working with Hospitality curriculum staff to introduce eAssessment into SVQ qualifications through the virtual learning environment Moodle.

One of the team, Stuart Milligan, describes a pilot project which aims to showcase these online assessments to other curriculum areas in the College, and highlight the ease and efficiency in how they are prepared and used.

Why use e-Assessment?

When we think about traditional and current assessment methods, is there really any justification for just doing what we’ve always done? We now perform daily tasks like banking, shopping, communicating, watching TV and taking photos using devices at our fingertips. Yet many still think education can’t be digitised. Well, we know it can!

Another reason for going digital is to be considerate of the environment by reducing our carbon footprint. And a college can make a difference by saving paper through eAssessment! Look at how much paper is saved by our hospitality students alone –

40 students x 15 assessments x 5 sheets of paper per assessment = 3000 sheets of paper!

Before and after! Hospitality Lecturer Graham Headland with Learning Technologist Stuart Milligan

How will e-Assessment benefit students?

Lecturer Graham Headland said “Using Moodle is a simple way of bringing assessment up-to-date with the way of studying. Students are embracing Moodle. From my point of view, I have no big folders to mark – all assessments are in the one place, they are easier to track and they are available 24/7. Ultimately, it gives our students more time where they want to be – in the kitchen!”

Hospitality students will benefit through e-Assessment in many ways, including –

Receiving results quicker – Moodle’s ability to automatically mark answers means that students can receive their results without having to wait for their lecturer to mark their (and everyone else’s) assessments.

Quicker feedback – Students will receive feedback on correct and incorrect answers almost immediately after receiving their marks. Wouldn’t that be handy for identifying areas that you might need to improve on? Have you ever queried a wrong answer and had to patiently wait to speak to your lecturer for an explanation? With eAssessments you don’t have to.

Available on mobile devices – Just as Moodle can be accessed on mobile devices, so too can online assessments. Who would have thought that education could be at your fingertips after all?

Colleges Innovation through Technology – eAssessment (CIT-EA) project

Ayrshire College is working in partnership with City of Glasgow College on a JISC-funded project that aims to identify and address barriers to the uptake of eAssessment.

The CIT-EA project aims to drive future development through a sector wide eAssessment implementation plan, piloting this year with HN Business. Two members of staff will take part in the project and they have exciting plans for rolling it out to lecturers across the College and place us at the cutting edge of eAssessment in the college sector.

Watch this space for more exciting news on learning with technology at Ayrshire College!


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