Online link seen for new liberal studies

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 March, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 March, 2005, 12:00am

Online assessment can be applied to proposed liberal studies in Hong Kong, according to the head of the e-strategy unit of Britain's Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

Martin Ripley briefed a group of principals on the benefits of e-assessment during a visit here last week. The British government has launched a programme requiring every secondary school to have 14-year-old students assessed electronically for IT by next year, according to Mr Ripley.

The adoption of e-assessment would allow for continuous assessment and personalised learning. Children in Britain had shown increased motivation to learn under this method of testing, he said. 'They saw it as a challenge to beat the computer,' he added, calling e-assessment a catalyst for change.

He said a whole range of subjects could adopt the method. In liberal studies, students could be assessed through a multimedia portfolio, including voice recordings, work on paper, digital photographs or videos or multimedia presentations.

'It may take an examiner just five to 10 minutes to review a piece of work and decide on the grade. It requires technology for students to combine and apply their research, communications, analytical, reasoning and presentation skills - all the skills involved in liberal arts.'

His authority launched the online World Class Arena mathematics and problem-solving skills test in 2001, now adopted by 21 countries, including China.

Mr Ripley said he was confident the commercial sector would provide the assessment packages at a low cost with sufficient demand from the market.

The Education and Manpower Bureau has introduced web-based competence assessments for Chinese, mathematics and English among Primary Three and Six students and will expand this to Form Three students next year.

Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Chris Wardlaw said: 'We will have a fully-fledged system of Web-based assessment for basic education by the end of next year.'

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority said it was not ready to reveal plans for web-based assessment.