It is widely recognised that timely, high quality feedback and assessment information is an essential component of an effective e-learning environment. However, traditional methods for delivering this crucial information have been found to have many limitations. Assessment is a time consuming process when it is done properly and so it significantly impacts upon the workload of academic staff who are already under considerable stress. Assessment and provision of feedback is often a very repetitive task; the use of software to automate assessment and feedback tasks offers the possibility of returning high quality assessment and feedback reports to students in a reduced time frame and in a format that will assist them in developing the attribute of independent, lifelong learning. This paper describes a Computer Assisted Feedback and Assessment System (CAFAS), which has been developed to address the recognised need for an electronic system that enables academic staff to deliver quality feedback and assessment in a timely and efficient manner. The main features of CAFAS include various options for providing feedback: a performance continuum or “rubric” matrix; drop down menus enabling quick entry of commonly used feedback comments; and audio recording of feedback. Summative and formative assessment methods can be used for each assignment. Reporting of class performance via graphs for each assessment criterion and automatic generation of grade and mark lists assist staff with administrative tasks and enables them to analyse teaching and learning performance for a particular assignment. Feedback is provided to students via a secure email account in a highly communicative, graphic and text rich format. The findings from trials and formal evaluation of the efficacy and acceptance of CAFAS are reported in this paper, and the benefits of electronic feedback and assessment systems such as CAFAS as tools for supporting and enhancing the e-learning environment are described.
|Keywords:||Computer Assisted Feedback and Assessment, Peer Review, Formative Assessment, Summative Assessment, Electronic Feedback, Learning Support, Marking Assistant|
Lecturer, The Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture & Design, University of South Australia, SA, Australia
Program Director (Media Arts), School of Communication, University of South Australia, Magill, SA, Australia
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