ERG SES H 11, ICT and Education
This paper describes the initial stages of a PhD research project, which investigates the use of technology enhanced formative assessment to improve student engagement and learning for large class sizes. Specifically, the research question will investigate the effect of structured, on-going formative assessments, in the form of online quizzes, on a set of my own students within the School of Business Studies and Humanities, in Dundalk Institute of Technology.
The High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education (2014) highlight how the higher education landscape is undergoing significant change as a result of technological innovations. A major recommendation of the report is that the integration of digital technologies and pedagogies should form an integral element of higher education institutions’ strategies for teaching and learning. Furthermore, it is increasingly accepted that assessment is the engine that drives a great deal of students’ learning. (Brown, Race, & Bull, 1999). Assessment for learning (AFL) is a conscious attempt to make assessment a productive part of the learning process. It does this by making classroom assessment an essential part of effective teaching and learning.” (Stobart, 2008). This author believes that formative assessment should constitute part of the learning process, but for many reasons, had not engaged in such assessment in the past.
The research will also describe the recent developments in on-screen question types, where up until recently, there were only a very limited number of question types available. The recent development of new ‘Technology Enhanced Items’ and question types mean that assessments can better assess lower and higher order learning. This leads to the main research question; does the use of this new technology enable enhanced learning outcomes through enhanced assessment? Like (Kirkwood & Price (2014), this author will explore how will ‘enhancement’ be achieved, and how can an ‘enhancement’ be determined?
The research approach is action research within a case study context, using the mixed methods methodology for data gathering and analysis.
In summary, the research aims to gauge if there was any effect on the following areas, because of the series of planned interventions:
- Students’ engagement in the module content
- Students’ standard of learning
- Students’ learning style
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