Title: E-feedback intersections and disconnections in the interests of designers and users

Authors: Sara Dexter

Addresses: Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia, 405 Emmet Street P.O. Box 400265, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4265, USA

Abstract: Well-designed assessments allow teachers to get information about students| knowledge and the depth of their understanding of subject matter. E-learning provides many possibilities for embedded formative assessments yet also presents many challenges for programming such e-feedback. Coding e-feedback features into the software offers instructors more varied, powerful, and unobtrusive assessments but also requires particular ways of use to capitalise on these capabilities. The design of e-feedback is based upon the assumption that e-learning tasks generate participant performance data for inferences about students| knowledge and skill. The three cycles of research and design with the ETIPS online case-based learning environment summarised in this paper demonstrate that instructors may value the task offered by the e-learning resource but not its associated feedback, while students| desire for feedback can exceed the technical limits to provide it. It then discusses implications of these tensions between developers| visions for e-feedback and the realities of its use by college instructors and students.

Keywords: formative feedback; e-learning; electronic learning; assessment design; intersections; disconnections; assessment designers; user interests; teachers; student knowledge; student understanding; embedded assessments; formative assessments; feedback programming; software coding; college instructors; participant performance data; student skills; research cycles; educational theory; educational practice; ETIPS; case-based learning environments; online learning; technical limitations; developer vision; usability realities; elementary schools; USA; United States; continuing education; life-long learning; electronic feedback; e-feedback.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2010.036814

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2010 Vol.20 No.2, pp.169 - 188

Available online: 09 Nov 2010 *

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