University Of Tasmania

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Authentic Assessment to Promote Active Online Learning and Critical Reflection

posted on 2023-05-22, 19:24 authored by Greg OatesGreg Oates, Denny, P
COVID-19 necessitated an entirely online approach for many higher education institutions and schools. This in turn provided opportunities to rethink classroom pedagogies and re-examine the ways online and blended courses are offered. Student engagement levels have always fluctuated, but fostering active learning has proved more challenging in the online environment.

It is known that assessment can be a significant driver of student learning. Formative Assessment (or ‘assessment for learning’) can be used to not only inform students about their learning progress, but authentic practices, embedded in their lessons, can signal value to them with respect to the activity. Thus, formative assessment activities that can be used online and facilitate peer-interaction are increasingly valuable.

This chapter examines an assessment approach in the context of a one-semester online course for pre-service mathematics teachers in Years 7–10 of the Australian curriculum, known as ESP125 Mathematics Pedagogical Content Knowledge Years 6–10. The approach uses the free, web-based tool PeerWise, which enables students to work with their peers to construct, share, answer, evaluate, and discuss a repository of assessment questions relevant to their course. The value of this approach in promoting critical reflective practice in pre-service teachers is explored. A survey, which was administered to measure students’ perceptions, showed students enjoyed the task and found it a valuable learning experience. In addition, student responses to the questions authored by their peers as part of the online task were examined. The analysis identified that students experienced meaningful shifts in their Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) resulting from peer-feedback and facilitated by the online interactions provided by the PeerWise platform.


Publication title

Authentic Assessment and Evaluation Approaches and Practices in a Digital Era: A Kaleidoscope of Perspectives


T Barkatsas and P McLaughlin






Faculty of Education



Place of publication




Rights statement

Copyright 2021 Brill

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Higher education; Pedagogy; Expanding knowledge in education