Center of Public Policy and Management, Institute of Social and Politics Science (CAPP/ISCSP), PT (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Pages: 278-283
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The assessment takes an important place during the development of any of e-learning Course (Dureva & Tuparov, 2006). According to the Pedagogical Model of Universidade Aberta (UAb) (Pereira et al., 2007), students must, during the first three weeks of the semester, choose the type of assessment they desire. The performance assessment of students in UAb can be held in two different ways: continuous assessment (CA) and assessment through a final examination (FE). The option is taken as final and irreversible for the current semester.

An important pathway for teaching-learning process is the decision of the desired type of assessment: but not all students deliberately choose the type of assessment. Students who did not are placed by default in the system of continuous assessment. Students don´t choose it for two main reasons: because they know that they will fall in CA mode, by default; or due to lack of time or interest / commitment at the beginning of the semester. This study employed the case study approach in order to analyse the performance of all students in a Curricular Unit (CU) of Statistics, linking them with their assessment choices: Choose or Don´t choose.

The final grades of Continuous Assessment on Learning Card are connected between Moodle and the academic information system. This allows us to use Moodle to automatically publish grades into the academic system. The final grades of final exam are directly published in the academic system by the teacher (Rocio et al, 2008).

This study includes 400 students from the same CU, Statistics, of three different courses. Most students, 68.3%, choose the continuous assessment, 20.3% choose the final exam, but 11.5% of students don´t choose any. Among the group of approved and for the three courses, the students that choose continuous assessment present the highest approval rates.
The analysis of the total final course grades shows that students who have obtained the lowest percentage of approval are those who didn´t choose the type of assessment and consequently are "pushed" to continuous assessment. Those are the students with higher disapproval rates and also with more absences to assessment moments. In opposition, students who select continuous assessment are those who clearly have the highest rate of approval.

Although we have found no conclusive evidence, we think that this study should be replicated in other courses to guarantee its validity and perhaps find strong evidences of relationship between final grade course and type of assessment option. We understand that this research is not without limitations. As far as quantitative data is concerned, the results may be biased due to the study of just one school year.
e-learning, Continuous Assessment, Final Exam.