Innovation in technology-enhanced assessment in the UK and the USA: future scenarios and critical considerations

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This paper uses methods derived from the field of futures studies to explore the future of technology-enhanced assessment. Drawing on interviews and consultation activities with experts, the paper aims to discuss the conditions that can impede or foster 'innovation' in assessment and education more broadly. Through a review of relevant research, the paper suggests an interpretive model of the factors sustaining the conservatism of educational assessment: the utilitarian view of education, dominant beliefs about academic excellence, and market or quasi-market dynamics. In the central section of the paper, three scenarios of innovation in assessment are described, developed through an iterative process involving researchers, representatives from the e-assessment industry, and experts from British awarding organisations. In the final section, a critical discussion draws attention to the implications that data pervasiveness and computer-generated predictive models may have for the future of education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-119
Number of pages17
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • assessment
  • data
  • futures
  • innovation
  • technology

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