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Technology enhanced assessment for learning in a distance education IT degree programme in Sri Lanka
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, University of Dundee, UK.
University of Colombo School of Computing, Sri Lanka.
(English)In: The International Journal on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions, ISSN 1800-4156Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on a research study to investigate the impact of assessment practices on the learning process, student learning outcomes and student attitudes to learning in a large-scale distance education IT degree programme in Sri Lanka. The national context for higher education is described, especially the national challenges for widening access to, and participation in, higher education. The study is set within a developmental context which has involved a continual process of improvement through the use of technology enhanced learning. This process has addressed the need to improve retention and progression rates and the need to develop assessment practices in order to improve support for student learning. The paper includes a discussion of related work with regard to the development of online learning communities, promotion of collaborative learning and development of assessment for learning approaches. Findings from the research study are presented which arise from an analysis of students’ enrolment, retention and progression rates in relation to three developmental phases of the programme. The outcomes of a survey of students’ perspectives on their experience of assessment practices within this developmental context are also reported. The discussion identifies successes, areas for further improvement and directions for future research and development in relation to technology enhanced assessment for learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Colombo: University of Colombo School of Computing.
Keyword [en]
Distance Education, Learning, Assessment, Technology, Learning Communities, IT Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57765OAI: diva2:544408
Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2012-08-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing for eAssessment of higher order thinking: An undergraduate IT online distance education course in Sri Lanka
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing for eAssessment of higher order thinking: An undergraduate IT online distance education course in Sri Lanka
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att designa IT-stödd bedömning av studenters förmåga till kritiskt tänkande, reflektion och problemlösning : distansutbildning i Sri Lanka
Abstract [en]

Distance education has seen rapid growth over the recent decades. The rapid development of Information Communication Technology [ICT] has been one of the main drivers of this growth in distance education. However, distance education and ICT themselves posts challenges to both students and educators alike. This thesis finds its basis in the problem of high failure rates and quality assurance issues in the Bachelor of Information Technology [BIT] distance degree programme conducted by the University of Colombo School of Computing in Sri Lanka. A Formative Assessment for Distance Education [FADE] model that promotes the development of and assesses higher-order skills in a collaborative online distance-learning environment was designed based on a methodological approach involving design-based research. The main study was focussed on two main problems, plagiarism in distance education [part A] and the use of technology to address the issues of learning and assessment [part B]. Research questions arising from different aspects of the design required the use of multiple methodologies. Issues of plagiarism in technology aided assessment in distance education put forward questions that required the use of a quasi-experiment and a literature survey. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of keystroke logs and questionnaire data. The design and evaluation of the FADE model employed a mixed method two-phase sequential explanatory strategy. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of questionnaires, observations coding, interviews and examination and registry data. The quasi-experimental data was analysed using a fuzzy logic engine. The questionnaire, observation coding and examination and registry data were statistically analysed and interviews were used to interpret and explain finding. The results of the part A of the study indicate that there are keystroke patterns for individuals that are stable within and across different tasks. However, the results of the literature review on plagiarism suggested the use of both technological and pedagogical approaches to plagiarism. Part B of the study, showed relationships between higher order thinking demonstrated by students and their course results and attitudes.  Collaborative learning skills demonstrated by students showed relationships to the students’ purpose of use of the FADE forum and their experience on the social web. This study finds that both technological tools and pedagogical practices have to be used in conjunction to limit the possibility of plagiarism. With reference to assessment with a focus on the development of higher order thinking, the study indicates that assessment should be based on the student’s perspective, the purpose and aim of the assessment and the assessment environment. Furthermore, the study finds that in distance education collaboration seems particularly important. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2012
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 47
Learning, Assessment, Distance Education, Higher order thinking, Collaborative learning, Higher education, Plagiarism, Keystroke dynamics
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; educational work; Computer and Information Science
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57793 (URN)978-91-7459-455-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-07, HUM-huset, Hörsal F, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2012-08-24Bibliographically approved

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