THE ASSESSMENT OF AN ONLINE COLLABORATIVE PROJECT BASED LEARNING
Since its foundation, the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) has provided online education in its different programs. With he European Higher Education Area in 2008 UOC had to adapt its programs. During this process, the UOC, being a fully online university, defined its distinctive competence as “the use and application of ICT in an academic and professional environment". Bearing in mind that every single undergraduate student at the UOC had to acquire this competence, the designing of a course “ICT Competences” (ICTC) with a methodological approach suitable with this acquisition was required. ICTC (a 6 ECTS and compulsory course), was created to assure students’ initial and gradual acquisition of the previously explained competence. This course is based on application of a Project-based methodology in an online collaborative course.
In ICTC, the students are distributed in small teams (4 members) and develop digital projects during four phases (Starting, Structuring, Development, Closing and Dissemination), each of which lay out a set of interrelated activities. During the different phases of the project, students acquire an active role and online teachers orientate and guide them during the process. In the same way that the methodology, the continuous assessment of the course is based on the active role of the student and the guidance and monitoring of all the process by the online teacher.
ICTC assessment is based in a 360º e-assessment model; its aim is to reinforce and boost students’ learning process and help them to gradually acquire digital competences and it promotes a deep, progressive and collaborative learning process, in which both online teachers and students participate (individually and collaboratively). Individual and group processes and group results are all assessed.
During ICTC, both the process and the final outcome of the learning activities are assessed and evaluation is not only performed by the teacher; students also assess their own and their partners’ work. So, this e-assessment model promotes new roles and new spaces based on individual and group activity, promoting the active role of the students.
Centering firstly in the role of online teacher in this e-assessment model, they perform the assessment using a series of assessment criteria (based on the course’s competencies) that are public to students during the online course. In addition, the online teacher performs both individual and group feedback at the end of each phase of the projects. Individual feedback is focused on the contribution of each student in the process of developing the projects and group feedback is focused on both process and final outcome of the projects.
Focusing secondly in the role of the students in the e-assessment model, they participate in the assessment of the process developing a self-assessment of their individual task as members of a team. In addition, a peer-assessment process is carried out in which each student evaluates the tasks of their teammates within the group.
The assessment of the results performed by students is centered in an interactive assessment based on the analysis of the projects developed by other groups at the final stage of the course. During this step, a process of discussion takes place during which every student participates individually as an evaluator and as part of a group participating in the development of the responses that their specific group receives from other individual evaluators.