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.
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.
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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.
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