Digital technologies for assessment and feedback

In vocational education, and particularly in NVQ type qualifications, it’s often overlooked by academics that these learners need a summative portfolio of evidence to demonstrate specific knowledge and performance criteria.  Awarding bodies have particular ideas about how these are presented so the easiest solution is to use an existing approved product, popular ones being Onefile and Smartassessor although there are plenty of others to choose from.


Summative assessment isn’t the only thing that learners and tutors may want to capture.  Formative assessment that enables you to see distance travelled, or a portfolio of accomplishments that can work as a dynamic CV for a learner.  For example,  I’ve seen a number of hairdressing learners create Facebook pages for themselves: enabling them to showcase their work and use it to advertise their business.  So how do you capture this information?  Again, it’s thinking about what is appropriate to learner and their learning journey. Here’s some ideas off the top of my head because it’s Sunday night and I’m trying to get on top of week 4 ready for week 5.

  • Photos are great for showcasing finished products particular for creative subjects. These can also be annotated using apps such as Thinglink, Educreations and Lensoo.
  • Video of a learner enables self-assessment and peer assessment as well as tutor assessments.
  • Audio recordings, could be an assessor’s observation with feedback included, something we’ve already seen back in week 1 of the course.
  • Forums, the best example I’ve ever seen was in adult learning; a Greek tutor who would ask a question each week in the forum and all learners were expected to join the discussion, all in Greek. Ofsted were impressed too as the inspector knew Greek.
  • Presentations or microteaching of skills: what about a TedEd?

There really is no one answer, it has to suit your style of delivery, your subject, and your learners.  Remember to embrace the technology, don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy the possibiliites.

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