Posted by: MandyS | November 30, 2011

Activity 25.3 – accessibility of online assessment

Not sure whether this was just me, but I found this incredibily difficult to read; I managed to get the gist of what it was saying from the examples!

Here is my take on the guidelines:

Online testing has to be appropriate to the purpose and for that reason needs to be divided into Low-stakes and High Stakes.

Low-stakes essentially covers e.g. quizzes which are related to learning but the results of which are not going to impact on ultimate proficiency. I suppose this could cover things like end of module assessments to see how a person is progressing where the scores do not count but show a student areas of strengths and weaknesses.

High-stakes appears to relate to the more formal assessment procedure, e.g. assignments and exams which count towards a person’s ultimate result.

The guidelines make the (obvious) point that careful consideration has to be applied to designing high-stakes assessment and that consultation with experts may be required. This is on the basis that this type of assessment is testing competency in particular areas and therefore accessibility features must not compromise that.

  • How far do the points made in these guidelines match the points discussed in the previous activity?

This very much matches the points made in Activity 25.2 on the basis that one needs to determine what is being tested to best determine how alternative formats can be accomodated. The guidelines helpfully provide examples of how this can be achieved.

  • Which staff role do you think these guidelines would be most useful for in your context?

As a tutor, I have no role in high-stakes assessments, these being very much controlled by the College of Law. I presume, however, that the guidelines would be useful to the course team working in conjunction with the course designers.

  • Which guidelines that you looked at in Block 2 would be helpful for a web developer in addition to these?

I would think guidelines relating to web accessibility would be a starting point, together with guidelines relating to accessibility of multi-media e.g. videos, audio, images etc. and those with cognitive disabilities.

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