Key factors for effective organisation of e-assessment
conference contributionposted on 30.04.2009 by Cornelia Ruedel, Denise Whitelock, Don Mackenzie
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The benefits of e-assessment are widely documented (Bull and McKenna 2004). However, instances of good practice have not been systematically reported. Recognising and acknowledging this gap in the research, the JISC Organisational Committee has funded a number of projects on e-assessment practice: ‘E-Assessment Glossary’, ‘The Roadmap to E-Assessment’ together with a set of case studies of innovative and effective practice. This paper is based on the findings of the JISC Case Study Project “The innovative and effective use of E-Assessment”. Members of the project team conducted over 90 interviews with teaching staff, senior management, developers and students to showcase all aspects of e-assessment. The project offered a unique opportunity to observe different organisational structures and gain inside-information about the effectiveness of a number of different applications. The 17 case studies and their follow-up surveys have been studied to identify the facilitating factors for the introduction of e-assessment and the organisational structures supporting e-assessment have also been investigated. The focus of this analysis was to study the different organisational structures and to identify patterns herein. We suggest that the key characteristics for the typology are the position of the e-assessment within the organisational structure and the support from the senior management. Three types of organisational structures are identified by the study, which support innovative practice. These are the Central Team, the Faculty based Team and the Departmental Champion. The Central Team offers e-assessment support and, in some cases, production services to all academics on a university-wide basis whilst the Faculty Based Team provides a more limited discipline-related service. The Departmental Champion usually implements e-assessment within his/her specific discipline and may be an early adopter or have a special interest in this area.
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