OcTEL week 4: Reflections

June 8, 2014 in Commentary, Course Information

We’ve now come to the end of week 4 which seems to have passed by unbelievably quickly. The high point of the week was undoubtedly the very informative webinar on Assessment and Feedback presented by Lisa Gray of Jisc, ably supported by Peter Chatterton. The live webinar was attended by 58 OcTEL participants and I’m sure the recording will be a popular one. Lisa provided an excellent overview of projects carried out as part of the Jisc Assessment and Feedback strand of work, and synthesised key outcomes which were very relevant to this weeks’ discussions. The idea for the Tech Trumps activity from the Collaborate project went down particularly well, proving that you can inject some fun into staff development!

Thanks to Martin Hawksey for his useful summary of the webinar in his blog post, which includes a link to the recording and the list of resources.

There have also been some very interesting forum and blog posts on supporting students through assessment and feedback. In the week 4 forum, Worldexpos highlighted the challenges in overcoming resistance among colleagues to marking and giving feedback online, to which Rose Heaney responded with a useful list of advantages for both students and staff. The benefits of online MCQs were also debated, with arkmba sharing creative ways of using them to engage learners in the classroom as well as online, and Tom Franklin exploring the possibilities of designing them in a way that would also address deeper levels of learning. Other approaches were also considered, such as the reflection by Fern Faux in her blog ‘Thinking Space’ on the use of InStep, an Open Source video database assessment tool. Grant Douglas used his blog ‘gdougblog’ to summarise the key points he had taken from the reading for week 4, including the quote from Race, Brown and Smith (2005) which aptly summarises the importance of this topic:

‘Nothing that we do to, or for, our students is more important than our assessment of their work and the feedback we give them on it. The results of our assessment influence our students for the rest of their lives and careers – fine if we get it right, but unthinkable if we get it wrong.’ Race, Brown and Smith (2005), 500 Tips on Assessment

It’s been another interesting week on ocTEL – please do keep those comments, tweets and blog posts coming!


Linda, Sheila and Jim

1 response to The open course you cannot fail…

  1. Dear Maren

    “Lurkers” vs “Silent participants”?

    Here are a few other terms that could be used:

    vicarious learners?
    silent participants?
    Non-public user?
    legitimate peripheral participator?
    virtual participant?
    marginal participant?
    passive observer?
    cognitive apprentices?
    potential member?
    proximate member?
    tacit member?

    See Let’s get more positive about the term ‘lurker’


    Which term best reflects the degree/ style/ of learning? If you read a book, but never talk about it, have you learned any less?

    Best wishes


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