Research Reports


Literature Report

We have conducted a comprehensive literature review to set the foundations for our project. Our first aim was to establish what the literature says about the characteristics and importance of formative, coursework assessment, commonly performed with assignments. Our second aim was to identify what e-learning techniques, tools and approaches are described for assignment assessment, and to find out what is known about their effectiveness and factors influencing uptake.
We have reviewed key articles and books that have shaped current theory on formative assessment of student work and have undertaken a comprehensive search of e-learning literature from 2001 to the present, including over 580 journals editions and conference proceedings.

Literature Review PDF Version of this report (278kb)

Survey Report

Besides researching the theoretical foundations we wanted to develop a picture of best practise on the use of e-learning techniques and tools for essay-type assessment. To achieve this goal we have interviewed 90 lecturers at five New Zealand tertiary institutions. The sampling of our interviewees was purposive, looking for individuals known within their institutions for their engagement in this area.
The interviews were structured around seven main questions, asking for assignment characteristics, the use of e-tools, views on advantages and disadvantages of tool use, and factors determining tool use. Additionally, we collected demographic information on subject area, years of teaching experience and course context.

Literature Review PDF Version of this report (311kb)

Recommendations Report

Based on the findings from the literature review and the analysis of the interviews we have developed recommendations towards increasing the uptake of e-learning tools for assessment with assignments. We have directed our main recommendations at the individual lecturers, to empower these to make changes to their current assignment practise right now. Tertiary institutions must play their part in providing the best tools, a supportive working environment and appropriate policies.
We have presented most of our recommendations, such as Profiles, Case studies and Action plan, on this website. The Recommendations Report provides all of this information in one document.

Literature Review PDF Version of this report (353kb)