On 23 April I attended the JISC Learning and Teaching Practice Experts Group meeting in Birmingham, an opportunity for those involved in JISC projects past and present to get together and share experiences.
There were many contributions but I was particularly interested in the Assessment and Feedback Strand B project ‘The Evaluation of Assessment Diaries and Grademark’ which Alice Lao spoke about. The survey of 250 students and 18 staff interviews following 4 years of implementation seemed to illustrate many of the issues with how technology does or doesn’t work with established practices.
So for example the Assessment Diary software sometimes disrupted existing practice, in a good way, by prompting reflection at a programme team level on the phenomenon of ‘assessment bunching’. Conversely, where staff see it as yet another administrative chore and don’t complete it fully or on time, and didn’t induct students on how to use the functions for accessing their online feedback the whole thing fell down.
So more on this at their project blog http://assessdiariesgrademark.wordpress.com/ and the final report is available from JISC http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/elearning/assessmentandfeedback/glamorgan.aspx But my personal conclusion was that humans are the key to all technology!