HOW CAN FLEXIBLE LEARNING CENTRES USE SOCIAL NETWORKING TO IMPROVE THEIR ONGOING EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENTS?
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Most online assessment systems now incorporate social networking features, and recent developments in social media spaces include protocols that allow the synchronisation and aggregation of data across multiple user profiles. In light of these advances and the concomitant fear of data sharing in secondary school education this papers provides important research findings about generic features of online social networking, which educators can use to make sound and efficient assessments in collaboration with their students and colleagues.
This paper reports on a design experiment in flexible educational settings that challenges the dichotomous legacy of success and failure evident in many assessment activities for at-risk youth. Combining social networking practices with the sociology of education the paper proposes that assessment activities are best understood as a negotiable field of exchange. In this design experiment students, peers and educators engage in explicit, "front-end" assessment (Wyatt-Smith, 2008) to translate digital artefacts into institutional, and potentiality economic capital without continually referring to paper based pre-set criteria. This approach invites students and educators to use social networking functions to assess “work in progress” and final submissions in collaboration, and in doing so assessors refine their evaluative expertise and negotiate the value of student’s work from which new criteria can emerge. The mobile advantages of web-based technologies aggregate, externalise and democratise this transparent assessment model for most, if not all, student work that can be digitally represented.
Keywords: Flexible learner, assessment, exchange, capital, social networks, social media, at-risk youth.