Assessment is a Many Splendoured Thing: Fostering Online Community and Lifelong Learning

Liam Phelan [],
GradSchool and Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Newcastle,
Callaghan NSW 2308 Australia []


This paper presents the design and application of a major individual assessment task created in part to develop students’ capacity for lifelong assessment, a key element of lifelong learning. Additionally the task contributes to fostering a sense of community in asynchronous online learning environments. The task is a supra disciplinary report, recently trialled and now adopted for two postgraduate environmental studies courses offered online. The task design’s theoretical underpinnings are reviewed with reference to (i) lifelong assessment, (ii) the value of lifelong assessment from the perspective of environmental studies, and (iii) the importance of fostering community to support learning in online contexts. The paper describes the task’s disaggregation into three discrete stages, and the opportunities this provides for fostering community and for supporting students to engage in critical assessment of the quality of their own and their peers’ written work, through a transparent, structured process of giving and receiving peer feedback.

If you would like to read the entire contribution, please click here.



e-learning, distance learning, distance education, online learning, higher education, DE, blended learning, MOOCs, ICT, information and communication technology, collaborative learning, internet, interaction, learning management system, LMS,

Current issue on Sciendo

– electronic content hosting and distribution platform

EURODL is indexed by ERIC

– the Education Resources Information Center, the world's largest digital library of education literature

EURODL is indexed by DOAJ

– the Directory of Open Access Journals

EURODL is indexed by Cabells

– the Cabell's Directories

EURODL is indexed by EBSCO

– the EBSCO Publishing – EBSCOhost Online Research Databases

For new referees

If you would like to referee articles for EURODL, please write to the Chief Editor Ulrich Bernath, including a brief CV and your area of interest.