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Designing for eAssessment of higher order thinking: An undergraduate IT online distance education course in Sri Lanka
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Att designa IT-stödd bedömning av studenters förmåga till kritiskt tänkande, reflektion och problemlösning : distansutbildning i Sri Lanka (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Distance education has seen rapid growth over the recent decades. The rapid development of Information Communication Technology [ICT] has been one of the main drivers of this growth in distance education. However, distance education and ICT themselves posts challenges to both students and educators alike. This thesis finds its basis in the problem of high failure rates and quality assurance issues in the Bachelor of Information Technology [BIT] distance degree programme conducted by the University of Colombo School of Computing in Sri Lanka. A Formative Assessment for Distance Education [FADE] model that promotes the development of and assesses higher-order skills in a collaborative online distance-learning environment was designed based on a methodological approach involving design-based research. The main study was focussed on two main problems, plagiarism in distance education [part A] and the use of technology to address the issues of learning and assessment [part B]. Research questions arising from different aspects of the design required the use of multiple methodologies. Issues of plagiarism in technology aided assessment in distance education put forward questions that required the use of a quasi-experiment and a literature survey. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of keystroke logs and questionnaire data. The design and evaluation of the FADE model employed a mixed method two-phase sequential explanatory strategy. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of questionnaires, observations coding, interviews and examination and registry data. The quasi-experimental data was analysed using a fuzzy logic engine. The questionnaire, observation coding and examination and registry data were statistically analysed and interviews were used to interpret and explain finding. The results of the part A of the study indicate that there are keystroke patterns for individuals that are stable within and across different tasks. However, the results of the literature review on plagiarism suggested the use of both technological and pedagogical approaches to plagiarism. Part B of the study, showed relationships between higher order thinking demonstrated by students and their course results and attitudes.  Collaborative learning skills demonstrated by students showed relationships to the students’ purpose of use of the FADE forum and their experience on the social web. This study finds that both technological tools and pedagogical practices have to be used in conjunction to limit the possibility of plagiarism. With reference to assessment with a focus on the development of higher order thinking, the study indicates that assessment should be based on the student’s perspective, the purpose and aim of the assessment and the assessment environment. Furthermore, the study finds that in distance education collaboration seems particularly important. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2012.
Series
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 47
Keyword [en]
Learning, Assessment, Distance Education, Higher order thinking, Collaborative learning, Higher education, Plagiarism, Keystroke dynamics
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; educational work; Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57793ISBN: 978-91-7459-455-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-57793DiVA: diva2:544787
Public defence
2012-09-07, HUM-huset, Hörsal F, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2012-08-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Who is Who and doing What in distance education?: Authentication and keystroke dynamics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Who is Who and doing What in distance education?: Authentication and keystroke dynamics
2008 (English)In: Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning, ISSN 1404-7659, no 3-4, 175-187 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.)) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper presents a study of computer based text development processes performed by ten native English language writers. The aim of this study is to analyse the text development process at a micro-level using a computer to explore whether unique keystroke patterns exist that can be used to identify individuals and different writing tasks. Keystroke logging techniques have been used together with fuzzy-logic comparison engines to identify unique keystroke patters across different tasks. Results indicate that patterns can be defined that are stable within writers but different between writers. Finally the paper suggests future improvements to the comparison engines and discusses ethical issues that need to be considered if such an identification mechanism were to be introduced into online assessment systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2008
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-20559 (URN)
Available from: 2009-03-22 Created: 2009-03-22 Last updated: 2015-01-19Bibliographically approved
2. Plagiarism: Catalysts and not so simple solutions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Plagiarism: Catalysts and not so simple solutions
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Plagiarism has gained much public attention with media, corporations and researchers leading the way. The general public’s perception is that plagiarism is a ‘plague’ spreading without control within our educational institutes. Furthermore, a social perception has been created that the Internet is the ‘catalyst’ of modern-day plagiarism. This chapter explores the domain of plagiarism, taking into consideration some definitions of plagiarism, the recent history, the cultural context, the view of students and teachers, and the situation in Distance Education. The chapter goes on to discuss the actual catalysts of plagiarism and methods used to detect plagiarism. Finally the chapter forwards some good practices that may help prevent and act as deterrents of plagiarism and addresses challenges faced in tackling the problem of plagiarism.

Keyword
Plagiarism, Distance Education, Learning, Assessment, Higher Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; educational work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57735 (URN)978-16-1520-688-9 (ISBN)
Note
Book Chapter in "Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices: Successes, Challenges and Issues" K. Sullivan, P. Czigler & J. Sullivan Hellgren (Eds.) Accepted in 2010 expected to be published in 2013Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2012-08-16Bibliographically approved
3. Technology enhanced assessment for learning in a distance education IT degree programme in Sri Lanka
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technology enhanced assessment for learning in a distance education IT degree programme in Sri Lanka
(English)In: The International Journal on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions, ISSN 1800-4156Article in journal (Refereed) Accepted
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on a research study to investigate the impact of assessment practices on the learning process, student learning outcomes and student attitudes to learning in a large-scale distance education IT degree programme in Sri Lanka. The national context for higher education is described, especially the national challenges for widening access to, and participation in, higher education. The study is set within a developmental context which has involved a continual process of improvement through the use of technology enhanced learning. This process has addressed the need to improve retention and progression rates and the need to develop assessment practices in order to improve support for student learning. The paper includes a discussion of related work with regard to the development of online learning communities, promotion of collaborative learning and development of assessment for learning approaches. Findings from the research study are presented which arise from an analysis of students’ enrolment, retention and progression rates in relation to three developmental phases of the programme. The outcomes of a survey of students’ perspectives on their experience of assessment practices within this developmental context are also reported. The discussion identifies successes, areas for further improvement and directions for future research and development in relation to technology enhanced assessment for learning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Colombo: University of Colombo School of Computing
Keyword
Distance Education, Learning, Assessment, Technology, Learning Communities, IT Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57765 (URN)
Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Assessment for learning: designing online assessment to promote higher-order thinking using collaborative learning in distance education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Assessment for learning: designing online assessment to promote higher-order thinking using collaborative learning in distance education
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The rapid growth in distance education and the quality requirements from higher educational programs are considered challenges that assessment designers need to address. Higher order thinking and collaborative learning skills are considered as two higher education quality assurance criterion. This research is conducted in a distance education setting in the Bachelor of Information Technology [BIT] degree programme offered by the University of Colombo School of Computing in Sri Lanka and is based on the design of a Formative Assessment in Distance Education [FADE] model. The design is based on previous research, students’ perspectives and pedagogical and technological considerations. The FADE model is investigated at a meta-level in reference to students’ learning and their achievements, and how it aligns with different competencies and attitudes of students. The results of the study indicate that in this particular educational context, the FADE model’s measures of higher order thinking and collaborative learning skills show an alignment with the students’ achievements in their examinations and also indicate some relationships to their competencies and attitudes.

Keyword
Distance education, Assessment, Higher order thinking, Collaborative learning, Technology, Formative Assessment
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57768 (URN)
Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2017-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Output format
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