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Comunicar Journal 39: Curriculum and Teacher Training in Media Literacy (Vol. 20 - 2012)

Synchronous virtual environments for e-assessment in Higher education


Rocío Yuste-Tosina

Laura Alonso-Díaz

Florentino Blázquez-Entonado


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.


E-learning, e-evaluation, assessment, videoconferencing, higher education, teaching method innovations, synchronous environments, qualitative research