First published in Campus Morning Mail on Tuesday 30th August
This story is from the US and so the legal implications in Australia are no doubt different, but it will nonetheless give pause to institutional leaders responsible for online exams. Online proctoring tools shot to prominence as the pandemic made it unsafe for large groups of students to gather for in-person exams. These tools enable students to take exams at home, but in order to minimise cheating, require what some consider to be invasive surveillance of the student and their space. Many universities are moving slowly away from exams altogether for more authentic assessments but the issue of finding the balance between academic integrity and privacy will be with us for some time.
The ed-tech imaginary at work Twitter thread from Charles Logan
This Learning Sciences PhD student at Northwestern University clearly has some opinions about online proctoring services but he does bring receipts. This Twitter thread shares posts comparing how a leading company paints itself as an accessibility champion with some choice comments from the founders and some wider stories about issues in this space.
The Impact of Peer Assessment on Academic Performance: A Meta-analysis of Control Group Studies from Educational Psychology Review
Peer assessment offers a possible brighter way forward for assessment, asking students to think more deeply about what is taught and how it is demonstrated as they provide feedback on the work of their peers. This study from 2019 involves a meta-analysis of 54 previous studies and finds that peer assessment can have a small positive impact on student academic performance.
Online Does Not Mean Isolated from Inside Higher Ed
One of the biggest concerns about online learning has always been the perceived difficulty in connecting with people, with the screen acting as a barrier to social and cognitive presence. This concern is applied as much to professional development and community building but Maha Bali, George Station and Mia Zamora argue that virtual events can in fact have many advantages over face to face ones. They offer eight guiding principles to make the most of this space.
Belonging in online learning environment – webinar Thursday 1st Sept 12 noon AEST from ASCILITE TELedvisors Network
If you want a more hands on demonstration of some of these principles (and more), Thursday’s TELedvisors webinar from Nicole Crawford, Beate Muller and Ammar Bahadur Singh (and colleagues) looks like a fantastic place to start. These sessions always feature rich discussions and helpful ideas.