The Delivery and Management of Feedback and Assessment in an e-Learning Environment

By Martin Freney and D. Wood.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp.169-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.424MB).

Martin Freney

Lecturer, The Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture & Design, University of South Australia, SA, Australia

Martin Freney is a lecturer in industrial design in the Louis Laybourne Smith School of Architecture & Design at the University of South Australia. Martin (Marty) is the portfolio coordinator of teaching and learning in his school and is a member of the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences, Teaching and Learning Committee. Marty’s research interests include sustainable design and teaching and learning. Online teaching and learning systems, and in particular online feedback and assessment, are of particular interest.

Dr. D. Wood

Program Director (Media Arts), School of Communication, University of South Australia, Magill, SA, Australia

Denise is responsible for the Bachelor of Media Arts program in the School of Communication, University of South Australia and she coordinates and is principal lecturer for several multimedia and Web design courses offered within the undergraduate and Honours programs at the University of South Australia. Denise is also Chair of the School of Communication Teaching and Learning Committee and Co-Chair of the Division’s Equity Committee. Denise has extensive experience in the multimedia industry as both a producer and training provider and she has undertaken several research studies addressing the impact of technology in education. Denise’s current research into strategies for embedding usability and accessible design practice within the undergraduate multimedia design curriculum is of particular relevance to her paper for this conference.


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