High-quality means of assessing learning: recommendations for assessing micro-learning

The services developed in Digivisio make the provision of continuous learning available to different learners in higher education institutions. In the future, an increasingly diverse group of people will be able to study in higher education institutions in different life situations and apply different ways of completing their studies. The assessment of learning must also take into account more heterogeneous groups of learners, and it must continue to be of high pedagogical quality.

In autumn 2022, the Digivisio 2030 programme set up partial implementation work for a preliminary study to examine high-quality methods for assessing learning. The aim of the preliminary study carried out as partial implementation work was to bring together existing research and development work on high-quality methods for assessing learning and to draw up recommendations for promoting them nationally. The preliminary study was carried out by Marja Jaronen from Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Eila Pajarre from Tampere University.

The focus of the preliminary study is on micro-learning, badges and micro-credentials, the significance of which is growing especially in the offer of continuous learning studies. The preliminary study examines studies conducted on the evaluation of micro-learning, the results of development work and good practices. In addition to micro-learning, the report also discusses the use and evaluation of badges and micro-credentials. The material covered by the study consists of scientific articles, results of development projects, examples that emerged at Digivisio 2030 events, and models and examples implemented by other organisations.

The recommendations compiled on the basis of the preliminary study concern the offer of studies for the continuous and flexible learning tray and its development in higher education institutions. According to the recommendations, it would be important to define the learning outcomes and transparent assessment criteria for the courses offered to the tray so that the learner knows what they are committed to, how learning is assessed and what kind of badge they get from the studies. In addition to this, it should also be specified how different forms of non-formal learning and micro-learning can possibly be combined with other studies or promoted as part of formal learning.

With a continuous and flexible learning tray, the principle of modularity links non-formal offerings and study units together so that the learner can always choose the next step in the learning process. The direction of learning may be to deepen the same theme or to familiarise oneself with different themes related to the same phenomenon. The assessment makes the competence already acquired visible, whether it is non-formal competence recognised by means of competence badges or more extensive courses.

The recommendations will be introduced as part of the development of a continuous and flexible learning tray, and they will be promoted in the work of pilot universities, for example.

Read more about the preliminary study: download the material.

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Expert Satu Hakanurmi