The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is considering how to implement online assessments for external examinations in the senior secondary school (years 11 - 13, 15 - 18 year olds) by the year 2015. Although the tertiary sector leads the way in this regard, including development of copyright and plagiarism-detecting software, the school sector has been slow to adapt to the world of e-learning and online engagement most of our students are increasingly engaged in. Note, I say MOST and not ALL, as in NZ we have a considerable digital divide as we very slowly roll out ultra fast broadband, face underfunding for ICT maintenance and development in schools, and have families who cannot afford BYDs for their children to take to school. High speed Internet access is therefore often unreliable, unaffordable, or unsustainable.
This interview on Radio NZ, May 2nd, summarises the key discussions we are having here in NZ around online assessments - the first interviewee is the head of the NZQA and the second a university professor. Is there a danger of simply planting old assessment methods in online environments? How will online assessment impact on teaching and learning and vice versa?
As an international community here on Ethos, I'd be interested in your thoughts and experiences in relation to the points raised in the interviews.
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