Technology has progressed vastly over the past few years. It
has affected and had a massive influence on the education industry. It is
important to move with technology and keep up-to-date with its changes in order
to stay current for the learner’s best opportunity of assessment.
Technology has provided assessment with many advantages and
has contributed to so many assessment changes.
One contribution technology has had to assessment is
communication. Communication between assessor and learner is much more
accessible now using modern technology. It is very cheap and easy to
communicate with learners now with access to email, skype, texting and so on.
This is very useful for learners as they do not need to wait until their next
visit with the assessor to ask any important questions. This is helpful with
their progression as they can consistently learn and continue providing
evidence. With lack of communication, the learner can come across a problem,
have little access to help from their assessor and it may put a pause on their
learner as they cannot continue without help until they next meet with the
assessor. Whereas they can comply one quick email or phone call and their
problem is solved, allowing them to continue with their work at ease.
Sometimes there can be issues with communication via
technology. The internet may not always be accessible for the assessor or
learner and sometimes devices can suffer from technical problems, making
communication difficult. This is generally rare and the benefit to communication
is much greater than its weaknesses.
Another contribution technology has made to assessment is
giving the learner an opportunity of providing an E-portfolio. An E-portfolio
can allow the assessor access to the learner’s work at any time. This is good
for formative assessment as the assessor can view the E-portfolio as the
learner goes along and give feedback on their work without organising a visit.
This makes marking evidence very quick and easy. An E-portfolio can also give
people from all over the world the opportunity to learn as long as they have
internet access. This gives learner’s equal opportunities and no discrimination
to other countries. Internal and external modifiers can also access
E-portfolios easily, without having to travel to training centres.
The initial cost of online work and E-portfolios can be
expensive with the purchase of devices and installing internet access. However,
in the long run, the lack of cost in communicating with assessors and
submitting evidence, also the benefit from submitting work without arranging
meetings and taking up time definitely outweighs the initial cost.
Observations and online testing has been massively
influenced by technology. Technology has contributed to this because with
online testing, everything can be done with minimum supervision and minimum
labour. This is because exam papers do not have to be printed, invigilators are
not required and exam venues may not be necessary. Online observations can also
be conducted via video or skype, making this time and cost effective as
assessors do not have to travel to the learner’s workplace to make
observations. Oral questions and answers can also be conducted via video or
phone call, another time and cost-effective approach to assessment.
Better evidence may also be gathered using video, as the
learner will feel less pressure than if an assessor was to sit and watch them
work. The learner can forget about the video and go about their work as normal,
providing more valid evidence as it is truer to life.
Also, if a learner struggles with hand writing, using a
computer to submit evidence will be much better suited as they can more at ease
with typing or using an online testing system. This also works with oral
questions and answers recorded or conducted by phone call.
Recording evidence using a smart phone makes it is easy for
the assessor to capture evidence that could be missed if the assessor is
observing as well as jotting down notes of their observations. Record keeping
can also be improved and completed successfully using online templates. This is
positive for meeting legal requirements, making the company’s compliance to
legal issues a success.
There sometimes can be issues with saving work using
technology. If the technology is suffering from a virus or technical issue,
then evidence may be lost or not saved adequately. However, with back up
systems and the use of USB sticks for saving work, this problem can easily be
To summarise, technology has contributed to assessment in
great deal with lots of positive outcomes. The many positives outweigh the very
few negatives. The time and cost of assessment has been greatly reduced. There
is also no risk of lost paper evidence by going paperless, using online testing
and E-portfolios to store work. There is also a benefit to the environment;
using less paper.
It is also easier to capture evidence with technology, with
video evidence of the learner’s skills and performance. Also, the recording or
oral evidence and computer-based, online testing.