EDST5126 Week 12 – The role of technology in learning, teaching and assessment

Image result for posture devolution with technology


What’s in a word? TECHNOLOGY

My instinctual definition of technology is “new ways of doing things using a mechanical tool”

My trusty Etymology online dictionary tells me that this word comes from the Greek with the following elements:

  • Techno – Latinised from the Greek “tekhno” meaning “art skill, craft in work” or “a method, system or art of making or doing” ((Online Etymology Dictionary [OED], 2017a).
  • Logy – meaning “branch of knowledge or science” (OED, 2017b) or “the study of” (OED, 2017c).
  • Technology was apparently first recorded in 1859 to mean “study of mechanical and industrial arts” (OED, 2017c).

So perhaps the elements of my personalised definition are not too way out there!

What are the key issues and trends with technology in learning, teaching and assessment in your context

Considerations of key issues and trends in technology in learning, teaching and assessment in my context are considered in a tabular format below. The specific area of online assessment will be considered, along with a more general examination of the issues.

table 2

in summary, introduction of online technology for assessment for Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship examination:

  • is identified as a potentially “sustaining technology” to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing assessment, particularly if the current assessment methodology is also changed to essay questions from the existing “short answers”…..if the changes made was simply to the SAQs being marked online, then it would largely become an assessment equivalent of “shovelware” educational material (Fraser, 1999),  other than the advantages of the exam being part of the ExamDeveloper program which facilitates blueprinting etc.
  • More excitingly, it could be seen as being a “disruptive technology”, bringing educational alignment into place. If barriers to using an educationally aligned assessment method (essays) are ameliorated by using this technology (allowing examiners to read candidates usually illegible writing), using this technology truly has the potential to change and improve the training program.
  • Multiple perspectives and piloting are needed before change is introduced and any change needs to be introduced with a strategic plan in place for communication of changes, community preparation  and addressing issues as they arise.
  •  Monitoring for unanticipated consequences associated with any change is important as each element of education exists as part of an ecosystem (Davis, Eickelmann, Zaka, 2013). This includes “pollination” of other educational systems by communicating between “cognate groups” , for example, other medical specialities where complex case formulation is needed, and in other RM training programs throughout the world.
  • Of course it must be supported by a plan for evaluation regarding various outcomes and at different timepoints as suggested by Parker (2016).

And finally, something to put a smile on your face!

Remember that not everything that goes “ping” in technology and teaching is everything that it is cut out to be…..enjoy one of my favourite Monty Pithon skits of all time:


  • Christenson, C. (1997). The innovator’s dilemma. Harvard Business School Press, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Davis, N., Eickelmann, B., & Zaka, P. (2013). Restructuring of educational systems in the digital age from a co‐evolutionary perspective. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(5), 438-450.
  • Fraser, A. B. (1999). Colleges should tap the pedagogical potential of the World-Wide Web. Chronicle of Higher Education, 48(8), B8.
  • Lumo BodyTech. (2016). The Evolution of Posture. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: http://www.lumobodytech.com/blog/the-evolution-of-posture/ .
  • National Pen. (2016). The Benefits of Handwriting vs. Typing (Infographic). Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: http://www.pens.com/blog/the-benefits-of-handwriting-vs-typing/#.WTtvAu1-_G4.
  • OED. (2017). Techno. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=techno.
  • OED. (2017). ology. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=ology
  • OED. (2017c). Technology. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=technology+.
  • Parker, S. (2015). The Rehabilitation Medicine Trainee of the Future. AFRM, RACP. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: https://www.racp.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/the-rehabilitation-medicine-trainee-of-the-future-report801e52afbbb261c2b08bff00001c3177.pdf?sfvrsn=0.
  • Parker, S. (2016). Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship Written Examination Essay Proposal (Assessment task 2 for UNSW subject EDST5124). Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: https://moodle.telt.unsw.edu.au/mod/turnitintool/view.php?id=1034686&do=submissions.
  • Pearson. (2017). ExamDeveloper collaboration platform. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: https://home.pearsonvue.com/Test-Owner/Develop-your-program/ExamDeveloper-Collaboration-platform.aspx
  • RACP. (2015). The President’s Message – 25 September, 2015. Retrieved 2017_06_10 from: https://www.racp.edu.au/news-and-events/newsletters-and-communiques/announcements/the-president’s-message—25-september-2015.

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