Mapping Tool For Matching Assessment To Graduate Qualities And To Course Objectives
Itzstein, G. Stewart
Wing Li, Kam
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Many universities have embraced e-learning with all the benefits that this new technology brings to education. However, most researchers focus on the development of course content and its presentation. Few researchers focus on the equally important question of assessment in the context of e-learning and how it relates to the stated objectives of the course or the graduate qualities assessment tasks are meant to develop. The problem is compounded where assessment needs to remain the same across different deliveries (face-to-face, distance and online) of programs. In e-learning, especially when delivered to students in diverse international settings, assessment tasks need to be formulated within culturally appropriate parameters in order to maintain the validity and coherence of assessment across differing cultures. Our research has been developed to address this issue. A growing number of universities (including the University of South Australia) are articulating a number of graduate qualities. Graduate qualities encapsulate the expectations of professional associations, employers and the community and they must be consistent with the requirements of a knowledge economy. Graduate qualities are designed to shape the teaching, learning and assessment that make up a program. They are especially relevant in the context of e-learning where instant feedback and cross-communication between lecturer and students and among students themselves is more difficult to implement effectively than in face-to-face learning. The main focus of this paper is to explain our research and to show how we have been mapping assessment tasks in relation to course objectives and graduate qualities. We have found that mapping assessment to the stated objectives of a course whether it is delivered in traditional face-to-face or online modes is a non-trivial task and often not even attempted by lecturers in any systematic fashion. A further mapping to the graduate qualities that assessment must develop is even more difficult without a systematic approach aided by an effective mapping tool. We have developed a mapping tool based in part on Bloom’s Taxonomy and tested it using courses that are taught in face-to-face and online modes in Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The mapping tool is of particular relevance to science or technology based courses.