The Slow March to e-Assessment in the Australian VET Sector


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Presentation for Transforming Assessment in a Digital Era conference (Melbourne, July 31st);

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The Slow March to e-Assessment in the Australian VET Sector

  1. 1. The Slow March to E-assessment in the Australian VET Sector * e-assessment in the VET sector - what does the research tell us? * do VET practitioners have the skills and confidence to deliver assessment for the digital age? * the assessment obsession: whatever happened to teaching? Michael Coghlan TAFE SA 31st July, 2013
  2. 2. what does the research tell us?
  3. 3. Victor Callan (The University of Queensland) Berwyn Clayton (Victoria University)
  4. 4. Skills of the VET Teacher/Trainer ● Many VET staff don't have a proper understanding of ASSESSMENT, let alone e- assessment! ● 90% of e-assessment is done via quizzes!! ● Many practitioners not sure what is acceptable to auditors - result of a culture of meek compliance > unwillingness to innovate
  5. 5. Is a video created by an apprentice using POV technology somewhere in remote Australia sufficient to prove that s/he is competent at fitting service gauges? WHAT CONSTITUTES FAIR AND VALID E- ASSESSMENT?
  6. 6. Is a video created by an apprentice using POV technology sufficient to prove that s/he is competent at fitting battens on a roof? WHAT CONSTITUTES FAIR AND VALID E- ASSESSMENT?
  7. 7. Is a video created by a student of one of his peers to demonstrate their competence in the safe use of hand and power tools sufficient evidence for an auditor? Is a video, or photographs, created by a student on their mobile phone showing the various stages of cutting someone’s hair sufficient to demonstrate competence? WHAT CONSTITUTES FAIR AND VALID E-ASSESSMENT?
  8. 8. However.....  • Auditor’s comment: “I suggest you steer away from collaborative assessment.”
  9. 9. do VET practitioners have the skills and confidence to deliver assessment for the digital age?
  10. 10. Where are the competent eLearning Practitioners? Mitchell and Ward: ● A report on the National Survey of Vocational Education and Training (VET) Practitioner (January, 2010) ● Elearning seen as part of an advanced skill set; __%?__ of VET lecturers see themselves in this category ● Elearning seen as part of an advanced skill set; less than 10% of VET lecturers see themselves in this category (
  11. 11.
  12. 12. (August 2011)
  13. 13. eAssesment (defined) E-assessment covers a wide range of activities where digital technologies are used in assessment
  14. 14. CC image:
  15. 15. Virtual Worlds Image courtesy of Jo Kay
  16. 16. Stephan Schmidt
  17. 17. ePortfolios
  19. 19. GLOBAL TRENDS (NMC sponsored retreat on The Future of Education) • Work is increasingly Global and Collaborative • People learn anywhere, anytime (BYOD – bring your own device) • Mobile • Openness — content, resources, courses, research, attitudes • The CLOUD • Ownership (copyright) and privacy • Access, and Scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success (MOOCS) • Notion of literacy is being redefined (multi- or transliteracy) • Rise of Informal Learning • New Business Models
  20. 20. GLOBAL/COLLABORATIVE APPROACHES TO WORK • collaboration should be emphasised as a principal form of assessment (design for cheating) - an alternative to testing/online quizzes done alone in isolation • this is not what happens in the real world; collaborative assessment more accurately mirrors workplace practice • more PD needed on other models of delivery - problem based learning (PBL), scenario based, Assessment for Learning (A4L); Flipped Learning - • strong links here with Employability Skills - they are the skills graduates will need to function in a more global and collaborative workplace
  21. 21. EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS  COLLABORATION • Communication √ • Teamwork √ • Problem Solving √ • Initiative and Enterprise √ • Planning and Organising √ • Self-management √ • Learning • Technology
  22. 22. “Soft skills are the hard skills of industry.” (Jeremy Blain - Cegos Asia Pacific)
  23. 23. PEER ASSESSMENT: Moodle Workshop Tool Overview • This project explored the role of online peer assessment in helping to determine a candidate’s competency • Unit of study: Promote team effectiveness
  26. 26. the assessment obsession: whatever happened to teaching?
  29. 29. HOW WE’VE CHANGED: • We have changed from being an organisation primarily concerned with LEARNING, to an organisation whose primary concern is ASSESSMENT.
  31. 31. TIME SPENT ON ASSESSENT – the last 5 years -
  32. 32. LECTURER COMMENTS: • wasting a huge amount of time on bureaucracy to meet auditors needs rather than on delivery of outcomes to students • the Audit /ASQA requirements for VET and Tafe training has increased the time needed prepare and assess in training • a lot of the time is spent on the quality requirements now e.g. filing assessments, tracking training plans etc • marking, documenting, recording, student information systems, fulfilling auditable requirements takes the largest proportion of our time • Very little time available for research, and development of materials past what is already available due to the increased demands time for assessment ... Too much time spent doing tasks that should be done by administrative staff.... Quality system also demands multiple records of many outcomes and this takes significant time also • Administration and compliance requirements, especially in relation to assessment, have significantly reduced the time available for quality lesson planning and resource development
  33. 33. LECTURER COMMENTS: TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT: • They go together in my opinion, part of lesson planning is assessment planning which is hard to isolate. • it would be fair to say that immense learning takes place in the assessment process. It's iterative, and distributed throughout the semester. It's very learner focussed/learner choice. It's also very time intensive to assess.
  34. 34. STEMMING THE TIDE Two questions: 1. Will this improve my teaching? 2. Will it reduce the amount of time I have to prepare lessons? Greg Whitby
  35. 35. What an assessor in the Australian VET sector needs to show! • Provide evidence to support your decision to approve student X competent in unit of competence Y on day Z last semester • extreme cases: need to report on every student on every unit of competence for every day
  36. 36. WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED? because a couple of kids mucked around in class
  37. 37. • Sugata Mitra: "the stupidity and short-sighted self-interest of politicians combined with the laziness and cowardice of many who work in education is a powerful and deadly brake upon change." (Sugata Mitra)
  38. 38. WHERE DID THE ASSESSMENT OBSESSION COME FROM? • RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) – you could be assessed without doing the course - GOOD • National standards > regulator > auditing to ensure consistent outcomes - GOOD • The whole class must stay in at lunchtime (or we all suffer for the sins of a few); weeding out the bad guys (Dodgy Brothers RTOs; lazy, entrenched, permanent TAFE employees) – NEEDED BUT WENT TOO FAR • Risk aversion ↔ culture of compliance – JUST REALLY SAD • New funding models are outcome focused – THE LAST STRAW
  39. 39. THE PROBLEM: "The dominant culture of education has come to focus not on teaching and learning, but testing...this...leads to a culture of compliance rather than creativity.“
  40. 40. TEACHING AND ASSESSING NAPLAN: “It’s not the test that counts but the teaching that is critical ... and good teachers know this.” Greg Whitby
  41. 41. eAssessment via Uberveillance? Google Glass Memoto CC image:
  42. 42. Resources Australian Flexible Learning Framework (2011) E-assessment guidelines for the VET sector, DEEWR, Canberra, Case studies from the E-assessment guidelines • • • • • QVDC resources YouTube videos: first one is at: eAssessment in the VET sector
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