EduDretTIC2012: Virtual platforms and learning assessment

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #105, June 2012


Communications session on Virtual platforms and learning assessment. Chairs: Irene Rovira, School of Law and Political Science, UOC

Self-assessment, co-assessment and assessment of learnings
Esther Carrizosa Prieto, Universidad Pablo de Olavide; & José Ignacio Gallardo Ballestero, IES «V Centenario» de Sevilla.

Assessment is made by using rubrics. There are assignments and online debates. But there were some limits in this approach. To overcome these limits, self-assessment and co-assessment methods were set up to complement the traditional assessment performed by the teacher.

Google Forms were used to support these methodologies. Google Forms are free, easy, enables collaborative learning, can be linked or embedded anywhere or be sent through e-mail. A very interesting feature of Google Forms is that they produce, in real time, spreadsheets and reports that show the data that the form has been fed with.

Continuous assessment and grading: difficulties and a proposal for a strategy to overcome them.
Ignasi Beltran De Heredia, School of Law and Political Science, UOC.

The transition to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has, in general terms, increased the workload in what is related to grading. There is a triple problem to be solved: identifying the skill to be evaluated, designing an assignment that fits into the purpose of acquiring that skill, and assessing the level of acquisition of that skill. Indeed, maintaining coherence and consistency is increasingly difficult when what is assessed is not objective contents but somewhat more subjective levels of acquisition of a specific skill.

A first step to take is designing assignments that can be properly graded. This will depend on the skills and, of course, the number of students per classroom/subject/teacher.

Second, to elaborate a proposal for a solution. This serves a double purpose: provide guidance to the student once the assignment has been delivered, and to provide guidance to the teacher to be able to grade with more consistency, as the criteria of assessment are public and explicit.

In the case where there are many teachers for the same subject, it is interesting to compare the grading performance of the different teachers, so that everyone can situate themselves within the general trend of the group. Questionnaires can help in bringing objectivity to the issue of grading, but they also are very limited for assessing some specific skills (e.g. teamwork).

A proposal for the learning of legal terminology by online students: the use of Hot Potatoes
Antonio Bueno Armijo & Nuria Magaldi Mendaña, Universidad de Córdoba.

It is very important to distinguish between informal and formal/professional environments when talking about legal issues. In a professional environment, legal terminology does matter, thus why the stress in learning the proper technology to be used in each different case. How can this terminology be learnt and applied? Does this change depending on the learning environment (offline vs. oline)?

Reading legal documents and writing assignments are two methodologies that work for both scenarios. But oral presentations (e.g. lectures, presentations) are also ways to learn how a specific terminology can be applied and is not an option in online learning. What could a valid alternative be?

Hot potatoes is a popular tool used in the field of language teaching. It is an authorware that is really easy to use, featuring several templates for different exercises and the software builds five different kinds of exercise: crosswords, fill in the gaps, word pairing, word sorting, and short questionnaires.

Besides daily learning, the software is a perfect match for the last weeks of the course, to review past contents, to summarize or synthesise the most important subjects covered, etc.

Initially, the students have shown reluctance to use the software, but after a first trial, a high proportion uses the tool until they succeed in all the exercises. A drawback, tough, is that once all the exercises have been correctly solved, the students rarely come back to the tool to revisit or review again the same topics.

Learning in negotiation, mediation and arbitration techniques in the Practicum. Virtual Moot and mock trials in online dispute resolution (ODR) processes.

The goals of this subject is the acquisition of specific skills in the field of negotiation, mediation and arbitration.

The students participate in a competition in groups, each one representing a different role in the moot court. The competition is about performing an online dispute resolution. A virtual courthouse was created based on a wiki (Wikispaces). The process is split in different phases, in which the teachers provide the students (the groups) the documents of the simulation.

For the students to be able to discuss and work within the teams, two tools were also set up: a synchronous one, a chat; and an asynchronous one, based on “projects” in the space of the wiki. The synchronous one of course put some constraints to the students that have time issues, but the acceptance of the tool was very high. On the other hand, the asynchronous tool was less used, but much more intensively. Thus, a first conclusion is that the combination of chat+wiki was certainly a good one.

An important key to success was engagement, both from students and teachers. A second one, being familiar with the use of certain technologies. In this sense, scheduling some days/weeks of tech training before the beginning of the activity is a must.

Strategies to provide feedback in continuous assessment
Ana María Delgado García, School of Law and Political Science, UOC; Rafael Oliver Cuello, Universitat Pompeu Fabra; & Irene Rovira Ferrer, School of Law and Political Science, UOC.

The goal of the project is to provide valuable feedback to the students once their assignments have been graded. Feedback helps to detect needs of the students and provides guidance to them in order to improve their performance.

Characteristics of good feedback:

  • Frequent or regular.
  • Immediate.
  • Thorough, detailed, clear.
  • Practical.
  • Generalized.

Feedback can be provided either individually — personalized — or grupally — generic, pointing at the global issues.

The students evaluated very positively the experience with feedback. It was also tested that academic performance was increased due to feedback.

3rd Conference on Law Education and Information and Communication Technologies (2012)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2012) “EduDretTIC2012: Virtual platforms and learning assessment” In ICTlogy, #105, June 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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ICTlogy Review

  • ISSN 1886-5208