Research into online learning and assessment features in new global anthology

Research by academics from Keele Business School highlighting students’ views on online assessment and feedback-feedforward techniques has been published in a new global research anthology.

As teaching moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, academics at universities across the world sought to find the best ways of delivering online learning in a way that was beneficial for both their students and themselves, with many planning to adopt at least some technology-based education methods for the next academic year as well.

This shift has coincided with the publication of a new anthology highlighting the best research in the field of digital learning, and a paper by Keele’s Dr Akrum Helfaya and former Teaching Fellow, James O’Neill, has been featured as a chapter in the book.

Their research sought to investigate students’ views on online assessment and feedback, with a view to helping to meet the needs of “digital natives in the digital age”, using interviews and focus groups with students from Keele Business School to understand their views on computer-based assessment and feedback.

Their findings, which were originally published in The International Journal of Teacher Education and Professional Development, found that many participants valued working online compared to traditional assessment and appreciated the instant feedback-feedforward they received, and agreed with the benefits that such approaches bring to their learning.

Dr Helfaya said: “This research has suggested some recommendations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that have introduced innovative online assessment and feedback techniques to improve the efficiency of their current practices of using computer-based assessment and feedback-feedforward. These recommendations will also help HEIs to meet the needs of their Net Generation in the digital age and to deal with the challenges and implications of Covid-19.”

Co-author Mr O’Neill added: “This piece of work is even more important now Universities are moving online as a consequence of Covid-19. This research highlights good practice in the area of Computer-Based assessment.”

This study was part of a larger research project completed by Dr Helfaya and Mr O’Neill looking into the effectiveness of digital teaching methods. The project comprised three separate studies, which sought to investigate the perceptions of both students and academics on the use of computer-based assessment and feedback compared to traditional paper-based test and late feedback reports.