Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
Assessing students’ live performances is challenging because the marker needs to make complex judgements, often very quickly, while at the same time recording information and watching the performance. This is further challenged when multiple markers are involved and moderation of marks is required. It can be difficult to maintain good assessment principles, such as fairness and validity and to offer students quality and timely feedback. This paper describes a two phase, qualitative, action research project that trialled the use of an innovative, digital technology supported, assessment tool designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of assessment and moderation of live performances. The digital assessment tool enabled students to engage with the assessment and feedback from tutors and peers multiple times. The project was initially trialled with 170 pre-service teachers (in phase one) and then 200 pre-service teachers (in phase two) enrolled in an arts education unit in the third year of their Bachelor of Education course. Literature is abundant with references of digital technology which is used to automate scoring and marks (Clarke-Midura & Dede, 2010), however, use of digital technology in this project does not replace the marker. Instead, it provides the marker with a tool with which to conduct and easily record rich observations of complex learning and it does so in a paperless, highly efficient and engaging way.