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Promoting Online Authentic Continuous Assessments
COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of online learning and assessment. While we have managed to migrate from traditional paper-based exams to online assessments through the use of lockdown browsers and online proctoring, it is imperative that the university continues to learn from current best practices. Transformation of assessment practices at the institutional level takes commitment and coordinated efforts across different levels. First, with the pandemic, academic staff were challenged to consider how assessment can take place online and in a fit-for-purpose manner that promotes flexibility or scalability. Second, with the intent to promote earlier feedback on students’ learning, we promoted more continuous assessments and reduced traditional exams with high weightage. Continuous assessments provide opportunities for students to learn from early feedback and scaffold their learning towards proficiency. Cultural theory of change emphasises context, values and beliefs, and was needed when delicately challenging existing views about exams versus continuous assessments. Third, faculty were encouraged to consider how their assessment could be made authentic, by identifying and assessing key transferable skills that are needed in typical workplace scenarios. The promotion of online authentic continuous assessment (OACA) was implemented through weaving policy changes, having regular conversations among academic staff to share good practices, challenging existing teaching and learning regimes, and promoting reflection for assessment practice. The social cognition theory of change was useful when rationalising how changes take place as well as learning from others when implementing changes. This chapter will first highlight literature that reflects critical elements of online assessment, continuous assessment, and authentic assessment. It will then share the implementation approach and the theories of change that were used in the university to promote assessment change. Two specific examples of assessment change will be discussed. Reflection from experience will be shared, followed by recommendations that can be considered for future practice. Recommendations are made specifically on designing authentic assessment, communicating about assessments and preparing students in using technology for assessment.