Soapbox Mary-Ann Fife and Tasneem Jaffer

How can we best make use of the affordances of the online mode to create authentic, relevant assessment activities which deliver on our mandate to improve student learning and success?
Presented by Mrs Mary-Ann Fife and Miss Tasneem Jaffer, University of Cape Town Online Learning Design team

UCT’s Formal Online Education Project is developing fully online and blended courses and degrees. This has required an investigation of options for online assessments (Online Assessment Technologies Report). Using some of the examples from recent projects we would like to share ideas about changing assessment practices. We are trialling invigilated remote exams, virtual proctoring, browser lockdown technology and changing summative assessment to project-based assignments.

Navigating the institutional regulatory frameworks, academics’ existing practices and emergent technological solutions makes online assessment a challenging space. Changing assessment practices means dealing with the realities of the institutional culture and disciplinary context which deeply influence attitudes to assessment. In addition to asking questions around the limitations and enablers of technologies for designing student-centred learning that can be assessed, we have to think more broadly around how traditional assessment practices need to shift in order to achieve bigger objectives. How can we change our traditional assessment practices to better prepare students for the future – as engaged citizens and socially responsible professionals or managers?


Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (2019), Online Assessment Technologies and Services Project Report. UCT.