The Role of Assessment in MOOCs -
Exploring the Challenges.
The aim of this project is to
critically evaluate the
emerging trends in MOOC
formative and summative
assessment and their
application in supporting
• A scoping exercise to elicit the
breadth and depth of different
MOOC assessment strategies
currently in use.
• A formal evaluation of the various
strategies to identify the strengths
The findings will be presented to the
MOOC’s design team so that the
relevant assessment and feedback
strategy can be incorporated into the
new study skills MOOC
Join me at the H818 Online
Feb 9th 2017
Audio 1 - Background
to the project
• Audio 1.
Hello, welcome to my H818 project. My name is Heather Bloodworth and I am a university
lecturer in Health.
My project title is the role of assessments in MOOC’s – exploring the challenges. First of all what I
want to do is to give you the background to this project. My department is currently developing a
study skills course that will be open to everyone. However, we also want to target students who
want to commence a health-related postgraduate course but need to develop their study skills
prior to this. I have been tasked with looking at the assessment strategy within this course.
• Audio 2.
The aim of this project is to critically evaluate the emerging trends in MOOC formative and
summative assessment and their application in supporting student learning. According to Cowen
(2005) “assessment defines academic standard and the quality of our assessment practices
ultimately defines the quality of our graduates”.
It is therefore imperative that we get this right. Most MOOCs offer some form of assessment
strategy that may include: automated grading, peer review, discussion board or blogs. For the
purpose of this project, the American Council of Education’s Journal - research, practice in
assessment will be utilised as it has several pertinent articles that relate to assessment.
• Audio 3.
A scoping exercise will be undertaken to elicit the breadth and depth of the different
MOOC assessment strategies currently in use and then a formal evaluation of the
various evaluation strategies will be done to identify their various strengths and
• Audio 4.
This YouTube video gives us an insight into some of the issues that designers/
lecturers face when trying to find suitable assessment methods that can be
incorporated/integrated into a MOOC.
• Audio 5.
Finally, I will be presenting my project and its findings, not only to the local MOOC
design team but also to the H818 online conference on the 9th February.
• Balfour, S. (2013) ‘Assessing writing in MOOCs:
automated essay scoring and calibrated peer review’,
Research & Practice in Assessment, vol. 8 , pp 40-48
[online] Available at http://rpajournal.com/dev/wp-
content/uploads/2013/05/SF4.pdf (last accessed 2
• Sandee, C. (2013) ‘Assessment’s place in the new
MOOC world’, Research &Practice in Assessment,
vol. 8,pp 5-11[online]. Available at
content/uploads/2013/05/SF1.pdf. (last accessed 2
• Cowan, J. (2005) ‘Designing assessment to enhance
student learning’[online]. Available at
_sciences_learning accessed (last accessed 13 Dec
This poster has been designed in a multimedia format to
increase accessibility. The background and font have been
chosen in line with the http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/
guidelines and an audio recording has also been
incorporated to explain the project in more depth.
The poster can also be accessed in alternative formats by
clicking on the hyperlinks below.
Lecturer in Nursing
School of Healthcare Science