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Manuscript deadline
15 November 2020

Cover image - Distance Education

Distance Education

Special Issue Editor(s)

Dianne Conrad, Athabasca University, Canada
[email protected]

Gabi Witthaus, University of Birmingham, UK
[email protected]

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Re-imagining Assessment in Online and Distributed Learning

This special issue of Distance Education will engage scholars, researchers, teachers, instructional designers and learners in a discussion of online assessment. We invite proposals from a wide range of related interests and from various research paradigms. Your theoretical, conceptual, and research-based submissions are welcomed, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • Innovations in online assessment: what works?
  • Peer assessment: the opportunities and the challenges
  • Changing views on the nature of assessment
  • Vehicles for valid MOOC assessments
  • Assessment tools for micro-credentials
  • Recognition of micro-credentials
  • New approaches to assessment; new approaches to qualifications?
  • Automated assessment solutions – useful?
  • Designing authentic assessment
  • Undertaking effective assessment at scale
  • Philosophical approaches to assessment
  • Strategies for effective online assessment
  • Assessing online participation: yea or nay?
  • The online discussion forum as an assessment vehicle
  • Moving from teacher-centred to learning-centred assessment
  • The influence of learning analytics on assessment
  • Fostering and developing students’ feedback literacy

Rationale and Relevance
Assessment in online, distributed and open learning environments has not kept pace with the changes wrought by technological innovation. That is, while most aspects of online and distributed education have moved ahead given technological innovation, assessment is still generally conducted as it always has been in bounded, traditional learning environments.

In recent years, the tools and environments of teaching and learning have both changed and increased. In our current era of technological enhancements and dependence, the landscape that was once dominated by physical classrooms and chalkboards now includes various kinds of presences - physical, virtual and blended, synchronous and asynchronous; a rich variety of media; a wide range of social media; many platforms for delivery; and massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Alongside these myriad innovations, and impacting their application, are the institutional policies, procedures and strategies for assessment and credentialisation. Unlike technological advancement, however, assessment – which underlies credentialisation – has neither evolved nor kept up sufficiently in order to appropriately mirror new learning opportunities. The evolution of pedagogy from traditional learning towards virtual forms of learning should have sparked new perspectives on assessment that better fit the affordances of online, distributed and open learning. Several research agencies, globally, have placed assessment on their lists of 2020’s most important issues. This special theme edition of the Distance Education journal aims to encourage both research and practice to address this gap.

Call for Proposals March 2020
Deadline for Submission of Proposals June 1, 2020
Review of Proposals Completed July 1, 2020
Invitation for Manuscripts July 2020
Deadline for Manuscript Submission November 15, 2020
Peer Review Process Completed by January 2021
Feedback to Authors January 2021
Final Manuscripts Deadline February 2021
Publication April 2021

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Submission Instructions

Your one-page proposal (Word, 12-pt font) should include statements of purpose and rationale, and methodology (if relevant). Submit your proposals to [email protected] Questions on proposal scope/appropriateness are welcomed. All submitted articles will undergo a double-blind review process.

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