Aspects and Affordances of the Social Web for Assessing Student Learning

The affordances of Web 2.0 can be used to influence the assessment of student learning in various ways: how work can be published; communication styles and texts; the expression of personal identity and experience; content production through co-creation, collaboration and crowdsourcing; and the way content may be managed. The examples below chiefly focus on the way that students work on assessment, but these affordances of Web 2.0 can also influence the techniques that staff use to design, support, mark and review assessment.

Open publishing

• Student work can be made easily accessible to an audience of peers for mutual use concurrently and subsequently.
• Review and assessment of student work by people beyond the class and outside the university can be enabled and invited.

Communication styles and texts

• Web 2.0 assignments can involve frequent short pieces of work employing conversational language and combining audio, video, images and text.
• Commentaries on student assignments can be exchanged rapidly, using rating or ranking systems, informal rejoinders, audio, video, images, icons.

Personal identity and experience

• Students’ online identity can be different from the student who is recognisable in class.
• Students’ social or cultural experiences of web authoring can influence the work they produce for assessment.
• Students' reflection and self-reflection about the idea of identity can be prompted by the need to create and express an online identity.

Co-creation, collaboration, crowdsourcing

• Group work can scale between a small closed group and a large free-to-join learning community.
• Individual contributions to group work can (sometimes) be distinguished.
• Groups can work on and build up large, complex assignments.

Content management

• Students’ assessable work may consist of remixing web content from diverse sources.
• Students’ assessable work may be hosted on several different sites. Work posted on one site may be syndicated by others and tracked back.
• Students can control the content they produce for assessment in accordance with terms of service, end user agreements or other governance policies of host sites.

For more information about these affordances, and the impact they may have on student authoring and academic integrity in higher education, see:
Waycott, J., Gray, K., Clerehan, R., Hamilton, M., Richardon, J., Sheard, J., Thompson, C. (2010). Implications for academic integrity of using web 2.0 for teaching, learning and assessment in higher education. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 6(2), 8 - 18.

Page source:
Gray, K., Waycott, J., Thompson, C., Clerehan, R., Sheard, J., Hamilton, M., & Richardson, J. (2011) Using Social Web (Web 2.0) Activities for Student Assessment: Resources for University Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from https://web2assessmentresources.wikispaces.com