What is it that is really acting as a barrier to widespread use of summative e-assessment in UK higher education?


  • Nora Mogey University of Edinburgh


For well over 10 years, computer-assisted assessment has purportedly been on the threshold of being the next big revolution in education, but somehow that revolution has never quite materialised. Many different reasons have been put forward to explain the slow rate of uptake, but so far these have not included the lack of suitable physical venues for on-computer assessments. This paper considers some of the barriers which have been highlighted to date, but seeks to argue that in reality, assessment spaces are the most significant barrier to ubiquitous on-computer assessments in universities. It goes on to suggest three different types of change which could be made to assessment spaces, and explores the likely consequences for institutions which invest in making changes to physical assessment spaces. The conclusion drawn is that changing the types of spaces available for assessment will naturally act as a catalyst for challenging the established pedagogies of assessment. Hence, not only can the revolution so long anticipated finally be precipitated, but it will bring with it opportunities for deep and fundamental changes in pedagogy more generally.