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Journal cover: Campus-Wide Information Systems

Campus-Wide Information Systems

ISSN: 1065-0741

Online from: 1984

Subject Area: Education

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Using wikis and blogs for assessment in first-year engineering


Document Information:
Title:Using wikis and blogs for assessment in first-year engineering
Author(s):Elizabeth Joy Smith, (School of AME, The University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia), Julie Evelyn Mills, (School of Built and Natural Environs, The University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia), Baden Myers, (School of Built and Natural Environs, The University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes, Australia)
Citation:Elizabeth Joy Smith, Julie Evelyn Mills, Baden Myers, (2009) "Using wikis and blogs for assessment in first-year engineering", Campus-Wide Information Systems, Vol. 26 Iss: 5, pp.424 - 432
Keywords:Communication technologies, Internet, Students, Universities
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/10650740911004831 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors wish to thank the following for their assistance: course manager: Annette Scanlon; tutors: Don Cameron and Stephen Whitehead, and the Flexible Learning Centre.
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper aims to examine some of the strengths and weaknesses of the use of online tools such as wikis and blogs for assessment purposes, with the aim of proposing future developments and improvements.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper utilises a case study approach by examining the outcomes of a new first-year course for all engineering students at the Institution Name that was introduced in 2008. The course, Sustainable Engineering Practice (SEP), gives students an insight into the disciplines of engineering and emphasises the skills required for working in multi-disciplinary teams. It introduces students to the profession of engineering and how it is practised within a sustainable context.

Findings – The major assessment task for the course is the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) challenge and, for the first time in the engineering program at the university, wikis and blogs were used as assessment tools to evaluate student progress in meeting the course objectives.

Originality/value – The evidence of student reflections in their course blogs, and the discussions of the staff teaching team in course meetings, have been utilised to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the pedagogy adopted. These sources indicated that the use of these tools for assessment was effective, but that some modifications were required to improve outcomes for both staff and students.



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