Another dot in the blogosphere?

Just like videos

Posted on: October 29, 2020

One of the invisible barriers to embracing technology for teaching and learning is the nature of assessment.

The dominant form of assessment is arguably the centralised and paper-based examination. When we were forced to go online during the current pandemic, some institutions persisted with such exams via remote proctoring.

AI-enabled remote proctoring has come under fire [1] [2]. Issues ranged from unnecessary surveillance and invasion of student privacy to technical failures and undue stress. All these stem from the desire to force old processes on to new circumstances.

So what might alternative forms of assessment look like? Programmes like the International Baccalaureate already make personal and group projects core to graduation requirements, e.g., MYP, CmPSCAS.

Portfolios are not new ideas. Helen Barrett is probably the best source of ideas and evidence for the efficacy of portfolios. But portfolios are still not mainstream because policymakers, administrators, and teachers do not (cannot?) think outside the exam box.

Given Barrett’s quote above, I might point out that the old school is clutching on to old and disintegrating photos while progressives are watching and creating the equivalent of YouTube videos. We need to collectively travel to the present.

For a glimpse of the future of assessment, I point to this YouTube video of a viral TikTok.


Video source

What principles might drive the future of assessment? First, authentic problem-seeking and solving. Second, learner-created content, i.e., learner choice of medium, mode, and message when solving a problem. Third, feedback and “grading” that is also based on the wisdom of crowds (authentic audience) and not just one expert.

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