Document Type

Journal Article


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Assessment in Education on 2 January 2014 as: Newhouse, C. P. (2013). Using digital representations of practical production work for summative assessment. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 21(2), 205-220. Available online here


This paper presents the findings of the first phase of a three-year study investigating the efficacy of the digitisation of creative practical work as digital portfolios for the purposes of high-stakes summative assessment. At the same time the paired comparisons method of scoring was tried as an alternative to analytical rubric-based marking because we believed that it was likely that a more holistic approach to scoring would be more appropriate. Researchers created digital representations of the practical submissions of 75 Visual Arts and 82 Design students graduating from secondary school in Western Australia. These digital portfolios were scored using the two methods, with the scores compared to those officially awarded to the physical forms. It was concluded that the digital representations of the Visual Arts submissions had adequate fidelity for the purpose of awarding high-stakes scores particularly using the paired comparisons method. However, the Visual Arts teachers and students were opposed to digitisation. For the Design portfolios teachers and students were supportive of digital submission, but the structure of the portfolios reduced the reliability and validity of scores, particularly from analytical marking.