Assessment and Academic Policy Consideratons in Using the Social Web to Assess Student Learning

It is important that the assessment of students' Web 2.0 learning activities is safe and fair for students and staff.

Academic policies that are important to consider may have aims such as:
  • This assignment provides for equitable assessment for students with a disability.
  • Students are guaranteed access to IT services or equipment to complete this assignment.
  • Before undertaking this assignment, students are advised of guidelines on appropriate conduct and safeguards against inappropriate conduct in the use of IT facilities and services.
  • When undertaking this assignment, students’ identity and privacy online are safe-guarded.
  • This assignment encourages academic honesty and integrity.
  • Students can be provided with an extension of the due date or other modification of the assignment if there are special consideration reasons.
  • Students’ moral rights and copyright in work they produce are protected.
  • Student work which shows evidence of cheating or misconduct is investigated and if indicated disciplinary procedures are followed.
  • Backup copies of students’ marked work are on file at the university for an agreed period of time, if needed for reference in student appeals / complaints or for audit.

Some universities' current policies do not yet address the implications of using the social web to assess student learning. This kind of assessment raises issues which (a) pertain to both methods but may apply to Web 2.0 modes in a specifically different way, OR (b) pertain to Web 2.0 assessment only.

Examples of (a) are:
Workload – for many Web 2.0 projects, unlike conventional undergraduate assessments, a word limit may be hard to define and work on the assignment may need to go on for a whole semester.
Group work – while the procedures in traditional and Web 2.0 assessments may have much in common, some will be rather different.
Feedback – receiving feedback on submitted work before the next assessment is due may not be applicable to Web 2.0.
Giving assignment information to students – for Web 2.0, currently, dissemination may be more informal than in conventional assignments.

Examples of (b) are:
Feedback on in-semester assessment tasks – the feedback may take quite different forms from those used in conventional assignments.
Assessment and results record keeping and security – document storage and security is likely to be completely different from conventional assignments.

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