UKZN Academic Presents Paper on Electronic Assessment
A Lecturer in the Discipline of Information Systems and Technology in the School of Management, Information Technology and Governance, Ms Upasana Singh, presented a paper titled: “Electronic Assessment (e-assessment) Implementation in Higher Education” at a recent teaching and learning conference in Durban.
The event was the 3rd Learning, Teaching and Assessment Symposium organised by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
In addition to highlighting the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of e-assessment, specifically at Higher Education Institutions in South Africa, Singh spoke - under the Symposium theme of Assessment for Learning - about the various types of multiple choice questions (MCQs) which are supported by most e-assessment systems.
These included animation, diagram, video, hotspot and crossword based MCQs, which are commonly referred to as “non-standard” MCQ formats – standard MCQs being single/multiple option, true/false, matching and fill-in-the-blanks.
The presentation was well received with many positive comments and discussions afterwards.
Singh also addressed the concept of ‘rethinking MCQs for e-assessment’, which refers to the process of adapting the design of MCQs to suit e-assessment. She stressed that ‘paper-based MCQs’ could not simply be electronically administered by e-assessment systems – they had to be re-designed to stimulate higher order thinking skills (HOTS) in students.
In this regard, a participant indicated that she found the presentation interesting because through the use of appropriate examples, Ms Singh emphasised ‘the need to re-think MCQs before they can be automated’.
Another participant said he was encouraged by the fact that ‘through Ms Singh’s experiences presented, she highlighted problems that she faced at UKZN, which are similar to the challenges we face here at DUT’.
Singh hopes that through the awareness created by the presentation, DUT and UKZN will collaborate to overcome some of the hurdles associated with e-assessment implementation at Higher Education Institutions in South Africa.