e-assessment: an attempt at a glossary

Many of us are trying to think through the best approach to assessment and feedback from the student perspective and how e-assessment can support (or not) this process. To help clarify my own thinking I tried to define the key components of what is often bundled together under the heading of e-assessment. Here are my thoughts to date..

e-assessment:  “E-assessment as a single term describes a range of learning and assessment activities that have distinct meanings in their own contexts e.g. electronic marking, online assessment, computer-aided assessment and direct on-screen testing are all referred to as e-assessment” (http://www.e-assessment.com/resources/e-assessment-toolkit/ ).

  • e-submission– where the process of students submitting work is done using an online tool. Usually tutors need to set up the assignment in some way. The collation of assignments ready for marking is automated. Systems offer different options for tracking and alerts for non-submission etc. Systems may accept collaborative submissions.
  • e-marking can probably be broken down to ‘Inline marking’ and ‘grading & feedback’ element:


    • Grading– rubrics and grading activities can take place online in a similar manner to existing paper-based processes. Most systems will give you the option of automating/randomising student work to markers available or you can assign these. Most systems allow for anonymous options. Many systems support self and peer assessment in a similar way to tutor marking.
  • e-moderation – where moderation processes can happen online. These can support asynchronous/synchronous, anonymous/not anonymous, carried out remotely, can be extended to external persons if required.
  • e-feedback. Inline marking- leaving comments on scripts whilst working online and can subsequently be viewed by students. Similarly for Rubrics and grades. There are options for release of feedback and grades. Sometimes there might be an option for making things public/share if this was to be part of a formative exercise seeing how others had done with scripts etc. Default settings are private.
  • Analytics – some online tools offer advanced opportunities for scrutinising data, these can be quite sophisticated and can focus either at student or module perspectives. Potentially there are options for course level analysis (e.g. Blackboard Analytics if desired).

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