Technology-enhanced formative assessment in higher education : An intervention design of scaffolding student self-regulated learning

Abstract: As online learning is increasingly adopted in higher education institutions, many instructors are faced with the challenges of devising and implementing effective pedagogical practices that advance student learning. One of the challenges points to the design and development of assessment activities that truly inform the teaching and learning process. Despite the fact that both formative and summative assessment are important in teaching and learning, summative assessment has been dominating instructional processes in higher education at the expense of formative assessment. In higher education, in many countries including Rwanda, efforts that are made to practice formative assessment are hampered by a variety of factors that lead to ill-practices. Using technology-enhanced instructional interventions, this study attempted to address these factors. The study aimed at developing technology-enhanced instructional interventions to support student-based formative assessment that promote self-regulated learning. Additionally, this study proposes the design guidelines for the development of such instructional interventions. The study was guided by the following general research question: What are the characteristics of technology-enhanced formative assessment activities that promote student self-regulated learning? This research question was addressed using three specific research questions: (1) How do lecturers and students understand and practice formative assessment and feedback? (2) How can technology-enhanced formative assessment activities help student develop self-regulated learning skills? (3) What design guidelines should be followed in order to develop technology-enhanced formative assessment activities that promote student self-regulated learning? This study used Educational Design Research approach. Technology-enhanced instructional interventions were formatively developed, iteratively tested and evaluated in order to help students develop their self-regulated learning skills. Based on the findings of this study, three improved formative e-assessment packages are proposed as a practical research contribution: online knowledge survey, online peer-scaffolding through student-generated questions and peer-responses, and electronic reflective journals. In addition, based on the findings, this dissertation suggests a set of design guidelines and lessons learned in order to inform other educational practitioners who would like to develop technology-enhanced formative assessment activities that promote student-regulated learning.