Synchronous virtual environments for e-assessment in higher education
This research studies an assessment system of distance learning that combines an innovative virtual assessment tool and the use of synchronous virtual classrooms with videoconferencing, which could become a reliable and guaranteed model for the evaluation of university e-learning activities. This model has been tested in an online course for Secondary School Education Specialists for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American graduates. The research was designed from a qualitative methodology perspective and involved teachers, students and external assessors. During the whole process great care was taken to preserve data credibility, consistency and reliability, and a system of categories and subcategories that represents online assessment has been developed. The results confirm that we have made considerable progress in achieving a viable, efficient and innovative educational model that can be implemented in Higher Distance Education. Also, videoconferencing and synchronous virtual classrooms have proved to be efficient tools for evaluating the e-assessment method in virtual learning spaces. However, we need to keep testing this model in other educational scenarios in order to guarantee its viability.