Can e-assessment become mainstream?

For over twenty-five years the field of e-Assessment has grown steadily at the margins of assessment practice. In the past few years, there has been consideration of the form it might take in mainstream assessment and of the barriers and drivers affecting its uptake (e.g. QCA (2005), JISC (2006, 2007)). In this presentation, we identify the issue of pedagogic validity of e-Assessment as central in its move to the mainstream and look at what this means in terms of the stages in e-Assessment growth proposed by Bennett (1998). Achievement of pedagogic validity is a necessary precursor to mainstream acceptance, but on its own it is not sufficient. It also requires well-trained and informed practitioners who are able to understand and address issues relating to use of e-Assessment: knowledge and understanding of assessment practice and technical skills to devise or create appropriate tests. The embryonic e-Assessment Association ( has recently emerged as a result of this need, and we will outline the main aims of this organisation.