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Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education

About the project
The Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE) project aims to envision digital assessment futures, by unpacking the opportunities and challenges that digital assessment brings to higher education for students’ improved learning. It specifically focuses on those stakeholders who are directly and indirectly involved in the design and implementation of effective and responsible digital assessment practices. The project addresses the following research questions:

  1. What are teachers’ experiences of digital assessment in higher education? 
  2. Which are the key opportunities and challenges (e.g., legal, ethical, organizational, technical, and pedagogical) of trusted digital assessment?

In this project, a mixed-method human-centred approach will be undertaken. An online national survey will be distributed to educators across several higher education institutions in Sweden. This will be followed by two workshops with stakeholders – such as educators, lawyers, managers, and system developers – involved in the design and implementation of digital assessment in higher education. By adopting a multi-stakeholder perspective, we aim to address several key challenges of digital assessment and suggest ways forward for students’ improved learning, improved learner support and teaching in the post-pandemic higher education setting.

The project will be a collaborative effort by a group of researchers from KTH and Stockholm University, representing the departments of Digital Learning, Media Technology and Interaction Design, Network and Systems Engineering at KTH, and the Department of Computer and Systems Science at Stockholm University. All project members have much-needed complementary expertise and knowledge in technology-enhanced learning, organizational aspects of higher education, assessment, learning analytics and responsible approaches related to the use of digital tools and student data in higher education.

The outcomes of this seed project will contribute to digital assessment research and practice.

  1. First, it will enhance our understanding of current digital assessment practices, and their associated challenges and opportunities in the setting of Swedish higher education.
  2. Second, based on this understanding, a set of recommendations for sustainable future digital assessment practices will be offered.
  3. Third, it will provide a foundation for creating and advancing competitive research proposals on digital assessment futures.

Background
Effective assessment practices are central to the student’s learning progress and academic achievement. Whereas online assessment forms have to some degree been present prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional examination forms had a stronghold within higher education and have often been the preferred way of assessing students. Restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a dramatic increase in the use of digital assessment, including formative and summative digital assessment practices in higher education.

In this regard, scholars and practitioners have shown some of the advantages of adopting digital assessment tools, such as personalized and accurate assessment, but also concerns including issues of ethics, privacy, fairness, trust and security associated with the use of digital assessment tools (e.g., proctoring software).

Crossdisciplinary collaboration
The researchers in the team represent the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University.

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Contacts

Picture of Olga Viberg

Olga Viberg

Associate Professor, Division of Media Technology and Interaction Design at KTH, Working group Educational Transformation, PI of project Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE), Digital Futures Faculty

+46 8 790 68 04
oviberg@kth.se
Picture of Teresa Cerratto Pargman

Teresa Cerratto Pargman

Professor, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at the Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University (SU), Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University, Member of the Executive Committee, Associate Director Societal Outreach, Working group Educational Transformation, Co-PI of project Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE), Digital Futures Faculty

+ 46 (0)73 460 57 47
tessy@dsv.su.se

Joakim Lilliesköld

Associate Professor, Division of Network and Systems Engineering at KTH, Strategic Research Committee, Chair Working group Educational Transformation, Co-PI of project Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE), Digital Futures Faculty

+46 8 790 68 69
joakiml@kth.se
Picture of Stefan Hrastinski

Stefan Hrastinski

Professor Unit of Digital Learning at KTH, Working group Educational Transformation, Co-PI of project Responsible Digital Assessment Futures in Higher Education (REFINE), Digital Futures Faculty

+46 8 790 65 68
stefanhr@kth.se