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5.1 Technology-enabled assessment

Technology-enabled assessment includes any use of a digital technology as part of any assessment-related activity. In an online environment, it can be used to align teaching and assessment methods.

Technology-enabled assessment potentially has many benefits. It can:

  • open up new possibilities for the design of assignments;
  • help make those assignments more authentic for learners;
  • enable teachers to assess skills that could not be assessed in other ways;
  • allow students to check their understanding without having to wait for individual attention from a teacher;
  • provide opportunities for repeated practice;
  • allow students to make mistakes in private;
  • provide instant feedback;
  • provide feedback that is perceived to be impersonal and non-judgmental.

On the downside, though, technology-enabled assessment can:

  • become constraining;
  • prompt educators to teach to tests that can be automatically marked and assessed;
  • mislead learners with badly phrased questions or a selection of wrong answers;
  • waste teachers’ time with a requirement to produce challenging questions, pitched at the right level, paired with a series of answers that are all equally plausible;
  • prompt learners to game the system;
  • enable learners to access previous answers;
  • open up possibilities for plagiarised responses.