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Think of it as a Challenge: Problematizing Pedagogical Strategies for Assessing and Examining Web-based University Courses
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Media, Literature and Language Didactics. Luleå tekniska universitet.
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, School Based Research, Media, Literature and Language Didactics.
Luleå tekniska universitet.
2014 (English)In: Next Generation Learning Conference NGL2014, Falun, Sverige, 19/03/14 - 20/03/14, 2014Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Following the digital revolution in education, Swedish universities increasingly give students the option to study online. For students, web-based alternatives offer freedom to choose from a larger selection of courses and give them a chance to participate regardless of location. Universities are also able to present themselves to a larger student base than what is provided by the immediate geographical environment.

One implication of the digital revolution is the increasing number of students, which places demands on universities and teachers to deal with a larger diversity concerning students’ individual prerequisites, needs, and their expectations.

In order to improve the quality and guarantee the validity of examinations in web-based courses, it is crucial to identify the pedagogical challenges specific to online teaching and learning. The aim of this study is to present and problematize a number of pedagogical strategies concerning assessment and examination, thereby contributing to the awareness of pedagogical challenges prevalent in web-based examination and education.

The method of the project is a case study with empirical data gathered from three literary web-based courses, “The Vampire Story from Dracula to Twilight” (7.5 credits), “Popularizing the Classics: From Elizabeth Bennet and Alice to Bridget Jones and Neo” (7.5 credits) and “Gender, Literature and Media” (7.5 credits), with a total of approximately 750 participants given at Luleå University of Technology in 2010, 2011 and 2013. The empirical material encompasses the course material with particular focus on examination assignments, statistics concerning completion rates, student course evaluations, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as teachers’ reflections.

The results show that there are three elements that are particularly significant when developing and teaching web-based university courses. First, the teacher’s subject knowledge, pedagogical skills and ICT competences contribute to a successful teaching and learning process. These factors help create a progressive development towards more complex and less subjective assignments. Second, the choice of teaching methods and examination strategies is imperative in order to create an interactive learning environment and a collective identity both of which are significant contributing factors to maintain a low student drop out rate in online courses. Third, it is fruitful to construct a wide range of examination assignments (for example quiz, blog, reflection, wiki and analytical essay). This will create the most varied and “secure” examination environment possible and ensure that one learning process is not favoured over another.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Assessment examination, web-based education, pedagogical strategies
National Category
Humanities Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-23657OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-23657DiVA: diva2:708817
Conference
Next Generation Learning Conference NGL2014, mars 2014
Available from: 2014-03-29 Created: 2014-03-29 Last updated: 2015-06-22Bibliographically approved

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