Investigating online tests practices of university staff using data from a learning management system: The case of a business school

Anna Stack, Bopelo Boitshwarelo, Alison Kay Reedy, Trevor Billany, Hannah Reedy, Rajeev Sharma, Jyoti Vemuri

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Abstract

While research on online tests in higher education is steadily growing, there is little evidence in the literature of the use of learning management systems (LMSs), such as Blackboard Learn as rich sources of data on online tests practices. This article reports on an investigation that used data from Blackboard Learn to gain insight into the purpose for and practice of online tests at the Charles Darwin University (CDU) Business School in Australia. The results indicate both formative and summative use of online tests, with a range of practices across the school. Focusing on curriculum and pedagogical practices, the article identifies indications of good practice as well as potential issues related to curriculum mapping, including possible misalignment between learning outcomes and online tests. It also affirms the versatility of using data from LMSs in the study of e-assessment in general and online tests in particular. Implications for practice or policy: • Reviewing data from the LMS about online tests can help academics and other stakeholders understand and improve practices. • Establishing patterns of practice across multiple units in a school or faculty provides direction for further in-depth research into perceptions and perspectives of staff and students on online tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4975
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology
Volume36
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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