Research into trends in future skills-demand shows that the requirement for digital competence is likely to increase in most sectors and professions; Digital skills are becoming ever more ubiquitous and the need to quantify the digital competences of technology users is becoming increasingly important.

Assessment - CC BY-SA 3.0
Assessment – CC BY-SA 3.0

Measuring digital competency involves the establishment of appropriate indicators that can be used as metrics in a format that is generic enough to capture the diversity of capabilities needed when engaging with contemporary digital technologies. The European Commission’s Communication “A new skills agenda for Europe: Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness” [1] proposes ways to address the skills challenges that Europe is currently facing. The aim is for everyone to have the key set of competences needed for personal development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment. Digital competence is one of these competences. Focusing on competency requires citizens to demonstrate mastery on all essential knowledge and skills rather than merely attain lower levels of understanding, but the assessment of these competencies is not an easy task.

Technology-based assessment refers to the various ways in which information and communication technologies (ICT) can be used to support evaluation and feedback. The automated evaluation covers a wide range of assessment activities involving the use of ICTs and digital devices to support the design and execution of tasks, and to inform the student of evaluation results, feedback and qualifications. The automated evaluation covers a wide range of activities, from simple multiple-choice questions offered from a computer, to the development of role-playing games, interactive simulations and online scenarios. We must review not only new opportunities, but also the ability of automated assessment to provide appropriate evidence of learning at a higher level. Up to now in the evaluation and certification processes, attitude evaluation has not been considered in depth. Users’ attitudes towards new technologies are an integral part of the process and should be evaluated in this way. Due to current technical limitations on attitude assessment, this issue has not been taken in depth.

But traditional assessment should be only a part of the teaching and learning process. After citizens have acquired content knowledge, they must use it in a meaningful way. They must engage with the materials, the processes, and the essence of the subject. They must practice the skills that are performed by professionals in that field. And this can be accomplished only through carefully constructed and relevant authentic assessments. In authentic assessment, students learn the content and then apply it to meaningful and relevant tasks. Simply acquiring knowledge through memorization and lecture is not sufficient to demonstrate the essential skills necessary to be successful in a particular field or profession. What is the purpose of a college degree if the skills to perform in the real world have not been mastered? How often are people in a workplace given four distinct options to choose among when they are working in a group to solve a problem or create a product? Life is not a rigid, four-option, multiple-choice endeavor.

Authentic assessment provides multiple opportunities for students to exhibit how they learn and they usually participate more actively in their own learning. Moreover, students who see assessment as closely tied to relevant activities are more likely to engage in learning. Authentic assessments are when students perform a task rather than select answers, as in objective testing. Students will be required to use the same competencies, or combinations of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that they need to apply in the criterion situation in professional life. Some areas have long used authentic assessment, for example nurses spend time in hospitals. Completing relevant activities and investigations is a more valid indicator of their attainment of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. These three important aspects of learning are combined when students apply what they have learned to real-world activities and especially when they work collaboratively.

[1] Manuel, J., & Rodriguez, S. (2015). Communication from the commision to the european parlament, the council, the european economic and social committee and the committee of the regions. A new skills agenda for europe: Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness.Bio-Based and Applied Economics, 4(3), 318.

e-assessment of digital competences

One thought on “e-assessment of digital competences

  • January 6, 2017 at 2:20 am

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