Friday, 12 October 2007


At a JISC meeting this Thursday I was reminded of the FREMA project. I had been aware of their attempts to map the domain of e-Assessment for a number of years now, but I was not aware of some recent developments. Most interesting to me was their use of a semantic wiki. I had never heard of the concept in all honesty, but I found the idea fascinating. In particular for the purpose of Knowledge management and dissemination I think the possibilities here are truly significant.

for the FREMA project in particular, one of the things they were able to do as a result of using this technology, is a gap analysis of their understanding of the domain, but also of the available solutions within the domain. Unfortunately there are still quite a few gaps to be filled in the area of e-assessment, but at least through resources like these we can maximize our efficiency in finding existing solutions, and focusing our efforts on those gaps where the needs are most pressing.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Can we just go back to learning please?

I'm getting a bit tired of the whole e-learning, eLearning, blended learning, learning 2.0 debate. The same goes for e-assessment, computer based assessment and computer aided assessment. All these debates seem to imply that there is a right mode of teaching, and a right mode of learning. And if there is one thing that does not exist for learning, then that's a magic recipe to make it happen. In the same way that I'm not in favor of the (ab)use of learning styles, I am also highly allergic to the vocabulary wars around the use of technology in learning.

As Clive Shepherd points out in his post on the subject: "the essence of good design for learning is to first develop a strategy that will produce an effective outcome and only then consider the media through which this strategy can be delivered efficiently." And the success of learning is not a result of the medium used. It is the result of the strategy, and the match of the strategy with the medium. Multiple choice tests aren't bad, nor are they good. They are a tool that can be used and abused expertly and inaptly.