The increasing use of technology within education impacts many aspects of learning including assessment. Good assessment practices are essential for learning and teaching and the use of technology has been demonstrated to improve assessment at various levels (JISC, 2007). E-assessment which refers to the use of technology to assist assessment has a number of benefits when compared to paper based system such as cost reductions (James, 2016), the ability to assess more learners (Jordan, 2009), time saving as a result of marker automation (Ras, Whitelock, & Kalz, 2015), increased frequency of assessment (Sclater, 2007); adaptive testing (Fluck, Pullen, & Harper, 2009), and greater personalisation (Gusev & Armenski, 2014). Some of the most important features of a robust e-assessment system include ease of use and accessibility, interoperability, security and effective feedback features that can provide vital information to students and teachers alike. A well designed e-assessment system will also provide functionalities to manage student assessment data such as background statistical information and analysis.
The DALDIS project comprising 8 partners will address open access e-assessment for learning through the application and dissemination of innovative assessment for learning techniques which are established in different curriculum contexts and then tested in schools in 6 European countries.
Innovative data analysis processes will be applied to support learners and teachers, and to evaluate the most effective questioning and learning models. The project, based on Study Quest technology (www.study-quest.com), will drive student learning progression using well designed question sets and student feedback to help the student build their knowledge and understanding and support the investigation of key curriculum concepts. The key objective is to evaluate ‘assessment for learning’ (AFL) informed by feedback using digital technology in 6 countries with a focus on Science teaching and learning (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science), and modern foreign languages
(through the teaching of English and French) in years 5 through 9.
A key feature of the Study Quest technology is the use of carefully designed ‘Feedback’ for all questions help to nudge the student towards the right answer, reinforcing basic knowledge and conceptual understanding all the way, and effectively introducing and teaching the next concepts.
Investigative questioning is supported through carefully designed questions to encourage students to research additional information working individually or collaborating to think through topics more
deeply to find answers.
The question sets used will closely match national curricula and classroom teaching practice in each country based mainly on popular textbooks in collaboration with schools and textbook publishers.
The Study Quest technology includes data collection on usage patterns, progression and preferences to support a significant analysis of successful and unsuccessful questioning techniques, analyse student progress and detect personal learning approaches, needs and preferences.
A significant analysis of this dataset to evaluate questioning methodologies, and improve the technology will be part of this project.
A number of training and dissemination sessions (multiplier events) will take place in each region where the DALDIS project trials take place. All participating teachers will have an opportunity to participate in a dissemination training session prior to using the technology in the classroom. The project includes several innovative elements including the use of feedback and nudges to help the student learn; gamification and incentives to encourage students; data analytics providing insights on effective questioning, student progression and providing data groupings to support the personalisation of the learning process.
DALDIS will evaluate and test these innovative features of assessment for learning in several European contexts, thereby facilitating cross-European perspectives and insights on AFL. To support the feasibility and long-term economic sustainability of the solution, features such as collaboration with education publishers, the creation of a digital companion to successful textbooks, the ease and flexibility of the question scripting model and the investigation of premium business models to support sustainability beyond this project are also important innovations.
Principal outputs will include:
1. Pilot results and evaluation reports
2. Curriculum aligned question sets in five languages
3. Technology upgrades to support needs of schools in participating countries
4. Software UI translated to five languages
5. A data analysis report outlining findings on effectiveness of methods
6. Training materials and online user help in five languages
7. A website with pilot and evaluation results, reports and the training and online user help