Students as Web 2.0 authors: Implications for assessment design and conduct by Kathleen Gray, Celia Thompson, Judithe Sheard, Rosemary Clerehan, Margaret Hamilton, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 26, 105-122 (2010). Abstract: Students now have at their disposal a range of Web 2.0 authoring forms such as audio and video podcasting, blogging, social bookmarking, social networking, virtual world activities and wiki writing. Many university educators are interested in enabling students to demonstrate their learning by creating content in these forms. However, the design and conduct of assessment for such student-created content are not straightforward. Based upon a review of the current literature and examples in the public domain, this paper identifies key challenges for academic assessment that arise from students’ use of Web 2.0 authoring forms. We describe and analyze selected cases where academics have set assessable student Web 2.0 activities in a range of fields of study, noting especially the inter-relationship of learning objectives, assessment tasks and marking criteria. We make recommendations for practice, research and understanding to strengthen the educational quality and academic integrity in the use of Web 2.0 authoring forms for assessable student learning.
From the conclusion: Advancing the assessment of student Web 2.0 authoring requires a degree of collegial consensus and a level of academic peer review that are not yet in place. Attempts at assessing student Web 2.0 authoring in higher education may founder if they merely replicate existing practices in new forms. Suggestions for using specific Web 2.0 authoring forms innovatively for assessment purposes are scattered too widely across refereed and ephemeral literature and may be tied too closely to an individual educator’s style or experience, to be helpful to an academic community or institution trying to achieve system-wide improvements. A project currently in progress aims to address this situation by sharing academics’ approaches to educational effectiveness and principled conduct in this area of assessment. Continue reading this interesting article.