Executive Summary

A sea change in Assessment, precipitated by both researchers and practitioners alike, was crystallized by the Assessment Reform Group (ARG, 2002) who rejected the notion of assessment that foregrounds cognitive ability tests that are valued only for their predictive validity. The ARG argued for a better alignment between teaching, learning and assessment and have defined the term 'Assessment for Learning' as "the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there" (ARG, 2002).

Assessment is central to learning and teaching. What is assessed defines what is taught and how it is learnt. The process of assessment, in turn, shapes institutional practice and affects a learner's view of the value of engaging in learning. Getting assessment 'right' is essential to the wellbeing of learners and institutions, and instrumental to the achievement of national strategies for widening participation and e-learning (JISC 2009, Effective Practice).

Discussion of the REAQ report (Gilbert et al, 2009) at E-Assessment Live identified the need for more information for tutors about what is good e-assessment and more importantly how to develop effective e-assessment.

The SRAFTE project seeks the identification of key references from community practitioners and from a literature survey. With close engagement with the community through the HEA Seminar Series on assessment, the report will review, select, summarize, and synthetically integrate the evidence provided.

The report will clearly identify how and where technology assists the aim of a better alignment between teaching, learning and assessment, and will also make clear where technology may not currently be cost-effective. The report's recommendations will be driven by pedagogy, learning theory, and educational perspectives rather than by technology and the pursuit of innovation for innovation's sake.

SRAFTE will make significant contributions to

a. the professional development of teaching staff and the support for learners in further and higher education.

b. the quality, diversity, and effectiveness of academic use of e-assessment materials.

c. the communication between pedagogical practitioners and learning technology developers.

d. a knowledge base of assessment activities and ways to improve student feedback.

ARG (2002). Assessment for Learning: 10 principles. Retrieved October 29, 2009, from http://www.assessment-reform-group.org

Gilbert, L., Gale, V., Wills, G. and Warburton, B. (2009). JISC Report on E-Assessment Quality (REAQ) in UK Higher Education. Technical Report, LSL, University of Southampton.

JISC (2009). Effective Practice with e-Assessment, An overview of technologies, policies and practice in further and higher education. Retrieved November 2009 from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/themes/elearning/effpraceassess.pdf

©2010 SRAFTE