Online Student Conferences as Assessment Instruments: A Case Study of Knowledge Acquisition
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A major change in teaching and learning in online courses is the student imparting their own knowledge on a subject to other students, lecturers and tutors and being assessed for such a task. An online student conference is discussed in this paper to illustrate this change and critically discuss and assess its potential as a student assessment instrument. This paper will discuss some current ideas on the methods and strategies for acquiring knowledge. It will then take the example of Curtin University’s Internet Studies online course Internet Communities and Social Networks and discuss the conference planning and engagement process. An examination of one student’s experience is given to show the potential ideal of successful knowledge acquisition which can take place. However, with this new way of learning come great advantages but also numerous disadvantages that further research will need to address. This case study shows that the ‘game’ of teaching and learning significantly changes when simulating real world experiences in online environments requiring much thought to the planning of learning material and tasks and management of students to stay engaged throughout the assessment process.
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