Centre for Flexible Learning (CFL)
November 7, 2017 14:54 Age: 253 days

ACODE 75: Assessment in a Digital Age

Associate Professor Bretag presenting her session.

In a recent joint ACODE/CADAD workshop hosted by University of Newcastle on 2nd November, the issues of contract cheating, exam hacking and new academic integrity opportunities in a blended era were at the forefront of discussions.Dr. Valentine Hazelman, Senior Learning Designer at the Centre for Flexible Learning took part in this workshop as USP is an institutional member of ACODE.

The workshop was organized into 3 key sessions with Associate Professor Tracey Bretag from the University of South Australia presenting on Contract cheating in Australia: Implications for academic integrity. Her insightful presentation can be accessed at https://vimeo.com/241442193 which was part of a major research project she explains in the video. In a following session, Professor Kiley Miles and Mr. Keith Foggett from the University of Newcastle presented on designing authentic assessment which raised some noteworthy issues in terms of how assessments and its expectations could be better managed, more realistic for students in addition to being more connected to the real world.

Takeaway points from this session included validating the student’s choice of programme and eventual career; making students excited to “become” what they want to “be”; and producing student “buy-in” to their programme to have a positive effect on student retention. Associate Professor Phil Dawson from Deakin University wrapped up the workshop with his presentation via videoconference on exam hacking. Of interest was the concept of ‘cognitive offloading’. Risko & Gilbert (2016) defined this as, “the use of physical action to alter the information processing requirements of a task so as to reduce cognitive demand.”

Interesting points were also raised about exams and whether by (their high stress) nature were expected in the real world because few tasks in the real world were “closed book”. Video presentations of these sessions will be made available as they are published by ACODE shortly.