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UNDERSTANDING ASSESSMENT ACTIVITIES UTILITY. A PROPOSAL OF MEASUREMENT

A. García Muñiz, B. Moreno Cuartas

University of Oviedo (SPAIN)
The new standards under the European Higher Education Area, show the relevance of using the concept of competences as a basis for learning outcomes. In order to measure and evaluate the students’ learning outcomes, assessment methods become a key tool in teaching and learning systems.

Several forms of assessment have been introduced in higher education in the last decade. One of the main characteristic is that the traditional assessment (pre/post-tests, portfolios, final exam among others) is changed by the integration of ICTs (such as, self-tests quiz tools, discussion forums or e-portfolios). The creation of virtual environments allows students to have many additional opportunities to interact dynamically with other students, opportunities which are enhanced through formative assessment. Therefore, a key concept is to detect the implications of the different teaching methodologies and assessment activities in the learning process of students.

This paper develops a methodology, based on information theory measures, that allows us to determine which assessment activity involves a better discrimination of students’ levels of acquired competences. The methodology is applied to a set of subjects of the Economics degree. The measures of information help to reduce the uncertainty over the learning process, the usefulness of different formats of evaluation and the importance of communicative and collaborative activities. The results provided evidence that significant differences existed by types of implemented activities.
Collaborative frameworks and skills at searching for and analyzing complementary material result relevant to differentiate between student levels of competences.