Topic 3: Challenges of Digital Assessment in Education

Digital Assessment faces some challenges common to traditional assessment:

  • Low levels of student feedback literacy, whereby students lack basic tacit knowledge to maximize the full potential of feedback comments (Carless & Boud, 2018).
  • Students are skeptical towards new and challenging perspectives offered by feedback (Forsythe & Johnson, 2017),
  • Previous feedback practices focused mainly on grades and learners’ previous knowledge.

Different modes of assessment pose different challenges – Examples (Ryan et al., 2019):

  • Feedback dialogues tend to be ephemeral for students and time-consuming for teaching staff
  • Text-based comments also tend to be labour-intensive for educators
  • Rubrics and statement banks tend to provide less personalized information

Challenges specific to Digital Assessment:

  • Lack of digital skills for teaching among teaching staff (European Commission, 2019; Perifanou & Economides, 2021)
  • Impact of technology on opportunities for and modification of academically dishonest behaviours in assessment (Peytcheva-Forsyth et al., 2018)
  • Faculty members not acknowledging or understanding students’ technical and technological difficulties (Arja et al., 2022)
  • Difference in time zones (in cases of synchronous remote evaluations)
  • Minimized personal interaction among educators-students and students-students 🡺 Less potential to co-create meaning on feedback