"The Development & Design of an Online Assessment strategy for a postgraduate science module in Entrepreneurship"

O'Brien, Emma and O'Kennedy, Richard (2014) "The Development & Design of an Online Assessment strategy for a postgraduate science module in Entrepreneurship". In: The 15th Educational Technology Conference of the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA). May 29th and 30th, UCD, Dublin, Ireland.


Wiki technology enables learners to co-create, co-construct and co-monitor their learning online in a collaborative learning environment. This paper discusses the development of an online assessment strategy for a postgraduate module entitled An Introduction to Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Scientists. This module forms part of the M.Sc. Biomedical Diagnostics, delivered by the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, a biomedical research institute hosted at Dublin City University (DCU). This workshop designed module forms part of a larger module entitled Professional Development Skills for Scientists. This is a life-skills module providing students with tools and guidance for future career development. Following participation in two Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA) Online learning and Assessment modules, the course lecturer observed significant scope to utilise web 2.0 technologies for module assessment. The Introduction of wiki technology as part of course assessment is particularly suitable given the module pedagogy. A dual model of constructive and collaborative learning is adopted. The subject area is specifically wide and general so it builds upon prior understanding as opposed to being focused in the field of diagnostics. Additionally, given the mainly group case-study analysis throughout the workshops and group summative assessment, student learning takes place within the social constructivist paradigm, where students work in teams discussing and conceptualising the differing scenarios with information shared and results presented as part of a group. The new online assessment strategy aimed to enhance collaborative project work, augment the social learning component for students, create deeper learning experiences and enhance student's ICT development skills. Following detailed evaluation including pre and post evaluation of the student experience and and review of best practise, this paper reports on the benefits and challenges of the Introduction of an online assessment strategy for an M.Sc. module over a two year period (40 students). The online assessment strategy included a collaborative group wiki, a new wiki grading rubric and a student self -assessment reflection paper.

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