'Online Assessment: design, scale, and creativity' Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) Digital University Network

'Online Assessment: design, scale, and creativity' 

Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) Digital University Network with support from the Centre for Research in Digital Education. 

14th June 2019, 10.30-3.30pm, Outreach Building 1.11-3, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh

Sign up: 

University of Edinburgh staff/students should use Eventbrite to book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/srhe-digital-university-network-online-ass…;

Non-University of Edinburgh staff/students should book directly with SRHE: https://www.srhe.ac.uk/events/details.asp?eid=421 



Digital technologies present new opportunities for developing assessment practices in higher education, offering precision and efficiency, but also the potential for creative designs that connect students in novel ways, and advance participatory and community-oriented approaches. Where digital technology is not only becoming embedded in higher education institutions, but also being directed particularly towards widening access and scaling provision, the development of meaningful forms of assessment are a central challenge for pedagogical practice and educational research. This seminar will respond to this challenge through the exploration of key questions about the role of digital technology in assessment, including:

  • How do academics understand online assessment, and what can we learn from academic values and practices?
  • How can assessment respond to the challenges of distance learning and scaled provision?
  • What kind of creative practices can inform online assessment design?

The following three talks will explore these themes in online assessment from different research contexts and disciplinary perspectives, offering a range of critical and creative insights at the forefront of assessment design and practice in higher education.


Dr Mike Mimirinis (Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University) will present results from a phenomenographic study of academic conceptions of e-assessment. Dr Mimirinis will discuss the qualitatively different ways in which academic teachers understand e-assessment, as well as interrelated dimensions of variation, including the benefit of e-assessment, the role of the assessing teacher, the role of the assessed student, the role of the medium, the purpose, quality and level of collaboration, and, finally, the relationship between e-assessment and teaching and learning.

Dr Jeremy Singer (Senior Lecturer, University of Glasgow), Sarah Honeychurch (Fellow, University of Glasgow), and Niall Barr (Senior Educational Software Developer, University of Glasgow) will present research on scaling peer feedback with adaptive comparative judgement - a method of ranking artefacts by making relative judgements. The team will demonstrate the adaptive comparative judgement software, and discuss recent research conducted with cohorts of students from the University of Glasgow and the FutureLearn MOOC platform.

Dr Tim Fawns (Fellow in Clinical Education, University of Edinburgh) and Clara O’Shea (Associate Lecturer, University of Edinburgh) will present research that draws on a practice theory perspective to question traditional assessment practices, showing that isolating students from supportive networks and materials, and constraining their choices through which they can express their learning, could be a barrier to development. In contrast, they will suggest, allowing students to work together through creative and subversive practices may help them to develop the adaptive capacity to integrate into complex social and technological environments.


Date of Event
Event Leader
Jeremy Knox
Outreach Building B1.11-3
Research Area
Digital Cultures