Universities need to explore the 21st century skills and capabilities that our students will need as they live and work in a world dominated by ubiquitous technology, increasing uncertainty and integrated complexity. As universities, we need to expand our repertoire of assessment tasks so they include a more sophisticated use of all learning environments, both physical and virtual. As we redesign our curricula to encompass the opportunities afforded by technology and instant access to almost unlimited information sources we will need to redesign our assessment tasks and formats so that students are able to appropriately demonstrate learning at the more sophisticated end of the SOLO or Bloom’s taxonomy.
Online assessment and e-exams are two recent examples of a move to more diversity in our assessment formats. Much of the work on online assessment and e-exams has focused on the technical, security and efficiency issues as well as comparisons of students’ performances on the same pedagogical task in digital and physical environments. In this discussion we will look at the assessment task itself and review why we need to move to more online assessment and e-exams because they offer opportunities for more sophisticated assessment tasks that are more appropriately aligned to the 21st century skills and capabilities that our students will need.
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