Formative E-Assessment: A Qualitative Study Based on Master’s Degrees

  •  Paz Prendes-Espinosa    
  •  Pedro A. García-Tudela    
  •  Isabel Gutiérrez-Porlán    


Formative assessment is a strategy that optimizes the learning process at any educational level, however its use is not very frequent as literature revision shows. In this paper, we analyse the use of formative assessment in online postgraduate studies (masters) in Spanish universities. Our sample was 31 online master’s degrees coordinators and we analyse the results obtained from a questionnaire with open questions using NVIVO software. Through qualitative analysis of the information supported by cross-queries of codes and attributes, we have considered formative assessment according to fields of knowledge, the type of digital tools used and the main difficulties identified. In this type of online masters, our data show that most of the teachers use this type of formative e-assessment to provide feedback to their students and as part of the final marks of the courses, too. So these results are relevant to understand the E-assessment strategies for master’s degrees. Finally, the main limitation of the study is the fact that it uses a sample limited to the geographical context of Spain. Nevertheless, these data are representative of E-assessment in Spanish master’s degrees and may be of interest for future research, for comparative studies in other contexts and even with face-to-face or blended-learning master’s degrees.

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