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Staff education – learning about online assessment, online

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conference contribution
posted on 2006-05-25, 17:13 authored by David Walker, Margaret Adamson, Richard Parsons
Over the last eighteen months, the University of Dundee has developed a stable and resilient central Computer Aided Assessment (CAA) system to support student and staff use of online assessment. We recognise six key components to this system: quality software, quality hardware, clear policy and procedures, adequate central staffing support, integration with other online learning systems, and staff education. This paper will focus on our central approach to staff education. The online assessment system was designed and constructed with the guidance and cooperation of many staff members, most of whom had previous experience with computer-based assessments. With the physical systems in place, we initially deployed a conventional staff development programme predominantly based on face-to-face sessions. Feedback from these sessions encouraged us to revise our approach, in order to reflect the complexity of the subject area, and the diverse needs of the target audience. Consequently, we have now largely replaced these sessions with a more comprehensive and interactive course, delivered online using our Blackboard Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and Questionmark Perception (QMP). The course, Assessment Online, has run on four occasions, equipping over 60 staff members with the tools and skills necessary to design and deliver valid and reliable online assessments. Along this path the course instructors have learned a number of valuable lessons which have, in themselves, resulted in many enhancements to the way the course is delivered. Significantly, as a result of its early success, the 5 week course has now been formally accredited by the University’s Faculty of Education and Social Work and will run biannually.



  • University Academic and Administrative Support


  • Professional Development

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  • CAA Conference


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WALKER, ADAMSON and PARSONS, 2004. Staff Education – Learning About Online Assessment, Online. IN: Proceedings of the 8th CAA Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University


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