Rethinking quality assessment for 21st century learning: How students use and create knowledge online

Rethinking quality assessment for 21st century learning: How students use and create knowledge online

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Rethinking quality assessment for 21st century learning: How students use and create knowledge online

Accounts of 21st century work and social practices frequently prompt calls for new models of learning, teaching and assessment utilising digital technologies. A synergy of views shared by multinational organisations, governments and education systems concern the inadequacy of industrial age education models for preparing young people for digitally driven futures. These same organisations prioritise 21 century skills and capabilities like creativity, problem-solving, productive collaboration and inter-cultural communication. Also of note is how the ease and rapidity of connectedness to other people, ideas and cultures via convergent, miniaturised technologies can be confronting to notions of responsible citizenship in both a local and global sense. At the same time, reports of young people’,s high levels of engagement with new technologies out of school often raise concerns about the purposes of that engagement and how schools might increase their technology-mediated curriculum and assessment. In responding to these diverse challenges, this article focuses on knowledge priorities for today’,s secondary school students through exploring the key question: How do we recognise, talk about and value signs of quality learning in student-created multimodal texts? Key threads in a diverse literature field are drawn upon, as well as the approach developed for evaluating student-created multimodal texts collected for a 2003–,2008 research study into curricular digital literacies1. From this background, the paper offers a new framework for thinking differently about quality assessment for 21st century learning. Essentially, the framework is intended to open discussions about the demands students face as they access, use, create and share knowledge online.

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