Using Technology to Enhance Formative Assessment

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Incorporating formative assessment into classroom practice is a process which can provide advantages for academics and students alike. For the academic, formative assessment can give a real time snapshot of student understanding, if necessary allowing for timely adjustments to teaching strategies to be made (Garrison & Ehringhaus, 2007). For the student, formative assessment provides an insight into individual levels of knowledge, allowing areas of weakness to be highlighted and thus further developed. Whilst the benefits of formative assessment are widely recognised, it could be argued that the way in which such assessment has been integrated into the curriculum has not changed to meet the needs of today’s technology driven students. As outlined by Beatty & Gerace (2009), “while the technology tools by themselves are not formative assessment, technology tools can be used to make it easier for both teachers and learners to engage in frequent formative assessment during actual learning.” To gain a deeper insight into the possible use of screencasting technology as a viable method of providing formative assessment, a project is currently being undertaken with a group of Architectural Technology students at the University of Ulster. Traditionally, formative assessment was provided to students via tutorial sessions, but feedback suggested that the majority of students did not favour this process. The aim is to develop a method of providing formative assessment in a way that appeals to students and in which they will more fully engage. A series of online quizzes with questions relating to key aspects of the curriculum are currently being developed which the students can access remotely, testing their level of knowledge and providing instant feedback on their level of understanding. The project hopes to gain an insight into the effectiveness of this formative assessment method, student uptake and overall impact on module performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on e-Learning, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 26-27 October 2012.
Place of PublicationReading, UK
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
ISBN (Print)978‐1‐908272‐73‐7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Oct 2012


  • formative assessment
  • technology enhanced learning
  • eLearning


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