Opportunities and Challenges of Online Assessments

Opportunities and Challenges of Online Assessments

What are the challenges that are presented to language teachers by the need to develop online assessment activities to be equivalents to on-campus assessment activities? This is a report on a work in progress. I discuss the background to the concepts for online assessment that can be found in earlier assessment arrangements for distance education and language lab practice, and how current online education providers are exploring ways to produce meaningful invigilated online assessment activites.
I describe my own history of trying to design online, and on-campus, assessment activites for Hindi language courses and argue that we now face an additional challenge due to the need to develop assessment activities which are equally suitable for online, on-campus and blended learning students. I will show examples of on-campus and online assessment tasks I have designed since I started teaching Hindi as a distance education subject some twenty years ago, and contrast these with examples of online assessment activities I am now using. Central to this I will argue, is not simply technological change but change in the ways that courses now have to also deal with learners from a much more diverse set of backgrounds than previously. I shall also try to compare my own assessment activities with those being used in other online language courses to see if a comparative approach from different languages might be beneficial to study in order to improve assessment activities.
My conclusion is that the need to develop new forms of assessment is both a challenge and an opportunity. It gives us a chance to develop new assessment strategies which are appropriate to the new circumstances language teachers face. In particular the challenges posed by the diversity of backgrounds in language learners and the complications introduced into learners expectations for language learning in an era when translations apps have become ubiquitous.

Date & time

Mon 23 Apr 2018, 4.15–5.15pm


Room W3.03, Level 3, Baldessin Precinct Building #110, ANU


Dr Peter Friedlander


France Meyer


Updated:  19 April 2018/Responsible Officer:  Centre Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications