Collection: ATS2020: Technology and Tools for Assessment of Transversal Skills

ATS2020 - Tools and Technology: bibliography + research

Tags: assessment, ATS2020, CMS, ePortfolio, LMS, platforms

ATS2020 - Assessment of Transversal Skills (for lower secondary students): Techology and Tools

This is a Mahara collection of products (and processes) of Work Package 2: Technology and Tools

It bases of the work of the ATS2020 WP2 key partners: Anastasia Economou, Nicolas Kanaris, John Hurley, Jarmo Viteli, Reet Taimsoo, Peter Baumgartner,  Bernhard Ertl, Tina Gruber-Mücke, and Andrea Ghoneim. It contains valuable contributions of other ATS2020 partners, namely Mitja Čepič Vogrinčič and Dora Nousia. Editing: Andrea Ghoneim

Please note that this should be considered a semi-official space (work in progress). Please note further, that most of the documents collected here are considered documents with restricted access. They mainly inform the project ATS2020 and are not intended to be public. As they might give a good insight into our "project kitchen" you can have a glance at them, anyway. And you are, of course, welcome to comment!

Learn more about ATS2020 at the official project website at

WP2: Overview

ATS2020 Work package 2: Technology and Tools

WP Lead: DUK (Danube University Krems)

Essential Partners: CPI (Cyprus Pedagogical Institute Latsia, Nicosia), INNOVE (Foundation of INNOVE, Talinn, Estonia), H2 Learning Limited, Dublin, Ireland, UTA (University of Tampere)


D. 2.1: Specification of Tools for a Formative Assessment Process

D. 2.2: Describe Tools and Affordances for Student-centered Learning and Assessment

D. 2.3: Customisation/development of Tools

D. 2.4: Support for Key users, evaluation and further development of the tools

ATS2020 Tools and technology model

the presentation of the ATS2020 tools and technology plan for the pilot (and thus for assessment) was available here until 10 May 2016. With the "opening" of an own ePortfolio page devoted to D.2.2 (Tools and Technology for student-centered learning and assessment), the presentation was edited to reflect recent discussions and added to the page devoted to D.2.2


Assessment and/with Technology and Tools: Bibliography for ATS2020



Preliminary Bibliography for ATS2020 Deliverables 2.1 (Functional Specification) and 2.2 (Tools and Technology Review). Last edit + last access to quoted URLs: 2016-04-20 (Andrea Ghoneim). URLs in brackets point at resources with restricted availablilty (subject to licensing of publishers)


Related Projects

Grading Soft Skills (GRASS) is a 3-year research project financially supported by EU (project reference number: 543029-LLP-1-2013-1-RS-KA3-KA3MP), focusing on representing soft skills of learners of various ages and at different levels of education in a quantitative, measurable way, so that these skills can become the subject of formal validation and recognition:

FASTECH - Feedback and Assessment for Students with Technology. JISC funded project run under the Assessment and Feedback programme: Strand A on Institutional Change: (JISC5/11): Unfortunately, many links of the website of the project (which ended in 2013) are broken. Still recommended: Check out the pages on Changing Assessment and Feedback practice and the "Transforming assessment and feedback case study"! IT based Methodology for Promoting, Assessing and validating Competence oriented learning and Training (IMPACT). The project website contains to date (May 2016) mainly content related to Validation...



The ATS2020 project is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

ATS2020: Tweets

Tools, Platforms, and bases for learner-centered, assessment-based work in classroom. Andrea's ATS2020 blog RSS

Assessment of Transversal Skills 2020: an Erasmus + Project under Key Action 3: Support for Policy Reform

Coordination: CPI, Cyprus  - Duration: March 2015 - February 2018

Tags: ATS2020

Mahara for ATS2020 upgraded to version 17.04

Mahara for ATS2020 is now upgraded to version 17.04. A presentation was added to the page "ATS2020 User Support - Guides for Tools" to show some new features of Mahara 17.04. Further guidance material will follow, we also plan webinars for project partners and ATS2020 teachers and trainers in Autumn 2017.

ATS2020 furthermore  can proudly point at the fact that part of the Mahara Upgrade was programmed for the ATS2020 project. We even got a "Thank you" card for our contribution which you can find as an attachment to this blog entry. Programming work for Mahara/ATS2020 was done by Gregor Anzelj, and we like to thank him here, again.

Padlet - useful with Mahara and as a Stand-Alone ePortfolio Tool

Padlet's motto is that it is the easiest way for online collaboration. That's true, indeed. There is hardly any other tool that makes it so easy to start without much of a registration procedure - or, actually, if you use it for brainstorming, without any registration procedure at all.

Even if you (as a teacher) create a Padlet Wall for your students' brainstorming activities, it hardly takes you more than 30 seconds. If you still feel like having an explanation or seeing more ideas what you can do with Padlet in the classroom, you could consult the Padlet Blog Entry of HPS Digital (the blog is run by the admin of Hopkinton Public Schools).

Padlet also offers a plan for schools, including better (classroom) management, the possibility of creating ePortfolios, a controlled environment and more security. There are also some video tutorials online showing the procedure of creating an ePortfolio with Padlet. Here is an example :-)

As an incurable Mahara-lover, I appreciate the possibility to create Padlets and to embed them into Mahara views. Padlets can be embedded in many environments.


Learning Analytics as a Basis for Self Assessment?

The ATS2020 Partner Meeting in March 2017 was able to welcome Riina Vuorikari from the JCR to work with us on Learning Analytics. Basis for the workshop, held at CARNET in Zagreb, was the JRC Report Research Evidence on the Use of Learning Analytics. Implications for Education Policy.

As the workshop is already described in Isabell Grundschobers Blogpost on "Learning Analytics @ School", I use this blogpost to quote my favourite paragraphs from the report:

"Students should know that analytics are there to support them, not as a form of surveillance. They should add their own data, be able to correct the process." (p.35)

"A shift towards student reflection, formative assessment and the development of skills and competences will move analytics away from a focus on current measurable outcomes and towards support for the holistic process of learning. This will need to be done in the context of both formal and informal learning." (p.39)

The report shows the state of the art of implementation of Learning Analytics, case studies and an inventory of Learning Analytics tools. It is a great basis for thinking about how Learning Analytics can be used - and to refelct about their purpose.



ATS2020 Resources Portal

The ATS2020 Resources Portal does not only help Project Partners to share their resources, it is also open to teachers, students, parents who are interested in learner-centered, assessment-based learning. The Portal which was opened at, contains guides for the project's main learning environments, Mahara and Office 365/OneNote Class Notebook. It also offers some resources on assessment with ePortfolios - including a MOOC. A very valuable pool within the Portal is the collection of Learning Designs which can be browsed by subject or filtered, focusing on the transversal skills which are in the Focus of ATS2020: Information Literacy, Autonomous Learning, Creativity and Innovation, and Communication and Collaboration. The learning designs do already contain scaffolding tools for assessment - by the learner him-/herself, by Peers and by the teacher. While the selection of resources already looks impressive today, it can be expected that this ePortfolio of Assessment of Transversal Skills will grow further as the project proceeds, and stopping by at frequently will always be rewarded by new content.

Authentic Assessment and ePortfolios

Authentic assessment can be something that prepares students for real life. I just found an example in the blog of Desire to Learn. There, Marsha Bayless, educator at a business school, shows, How Authentic Assessment Can Help Students Prepare for the Real World. She uses videos as an assignment. Subject of the video assignment can be an interview - as the students might have IRL if they apply for an internship.

Even though ATS2020 students are too young to apply for internships, there might be other scenarios in which you can imagine authentic assessments: show collaboration skills in a video of a school event a group of students has organized, demonstrate digital literacy by offering a guided tour through a webquest/search scenario done with screencasting software, podcasting a discussion and thus delivering a proof of communication skills etc.

The same tools (video, audio recording, ...) can BTW serve as tools for (peer) feedback or formative assessment - and they can easily handed over to the peer by attaching them to a short written comment. The audio and video files are in the same time artefacts which can be embedded or collected in your ePortfolio.

Assessment with Mahara and OneNote Class Notebook

While experimenting with the Rubrics plugin for Mahara, I came across the presentation of Makoto Miyazaki at Mahara HUI 2015 in Auckland, NZ. In "Rubric plugin: Assessment for/of Learning in Mahara" he talks about outcomes based course design, learning and reflection and assessment for/of learning. He draws eye-catching pictures to support his ideas which can be used well to illustrate processes of reflective learning, feedback and grading/assessment of learning. 

Brendan Cawley of Coláiste Pobail Setanta school in Dublin, Ireland shows Assessment for Learning Using OneNote Class Notebooks in Microsoft's Office blogs (published in May 2016). He lets readers participate in the school's learning journey. For the assessment process, students are guided by learning objectives and can assess themselves using a checklist and Bloom's taxonomy.

The examples can serve as a guideline for the ATS2020 assessment process, keeping in mind, however, that learning outcomes are based in our model on negotiations between students (who set their own goals) and teachers (who outline the curricular learning targets and assist students in setting their goals). Rubrics will be elaborated on basis of the ATS2020 framework of transversal skills. Of course, ATS2020 teachers are not confined to the use of rubrics. Tools of self and peer assessment - as well as for formative assessment by the teacher can be checklists (like the one in Brendan Cawley's example), questionnaires, reflection stems, and many more.

For Mahara, you can also find a presentation of Andrea Ghoneim, explaining the ATS2020 Assessment process using Mahara. It is part of the Collection of Guides for ATS2020 Tools.


SeeSaw: An ePortfolio Space for Younger Students

Some Belgian schools of the ATS2020 project are using it as an ePortfolio space to develop and assess transversal Skills: SeeSaw. SeeSaw is a digital portfolio management system that is easy to use and allows to capture student learning in its full multimedial bandwith. Tama Trotti, K-12 teacher  describes in a blogpost on Emerging EdTech (2015) SeeSaw as a tool for "curation of student work that could be easily handled by students, accessible for parents, and alleviate storage issues with bulky notebooks". She points out how excited her students are to document and reflect their own work, and explains the benefits of peer-to-peer interaction and of parents who stay updated about their kid's learning journey via the SeeSaw ePortfolio.

The licence issue should be kept in mind, however:

"Seesaw is free for teachers and parents. However, if a school would like to have a student’s portfolio move with them from year to year, there is a fee for this and you will need to contact Seesaw directly for more information. If parents would like to continue to keep their student’s portfolio there is a storage fee for that as well and parents can sign up directly with Seesaw." (Trotti 2015)

SeeSaw features look very convincing: Besides the multimedia capture of student learning and a good management interface for teachers, there are multiple ways of communicating - even with other classrooms (which can be at any school worldwide, eg. a partner school). SeeSaw Plus offers an assessment tool which looks very convenient for teachers. It has to be tested whether this tool is inline with the learner-centered approach of formative feedback, though.

I'm looking forward to try it out myself and to hear about the experience of the ATS2020 partners!


Guides for ATS2020 tools

The guides for ATS2020 tools are partly available as OER - so please feel free to use the guidance materials on the project's main ePortfolio platforms, Mahara and Office 365/OneNote Class Notebook. They are collected and displayed here. The guidance materials - presentation slides, screencasts, webinar recordings - were elaborated and made available along with train-the-trainer workshops and do also reflect user's questions. The last guide added is "Assessment with Mahara". For Office 365/OneNote Class Notebook a range of further guiding material is available for ATS2020 project participants, only. On the page ATS2020 User Support - Guides for Tools" you can find the table of contents and how to find them via Sharepoint.

Helen Barrett, again

I found a TedX-video of Helen Barrett, the "grandmother" of ePortfolios. I'll blog about it as soon as I find the time, in the meantime I "conservate" the link to the video here:

Students starting their ePortfolio Journey on Mahara

The "TechCoaches" of Dearborn Schools blog about "Helping Dearborn teachers integrate technology to transform learning". In March 2016 one of the topics was the implementation of Mahara ePortfolios in a K12 classroom (this corresponds to the ATS2020 student's age). The blog shows that teachers made an instruction for their students on Google docs. Students worked themselves through these instructions in class. They had a green and a red cup on their table and could "display" the red one in order to get help from the teacher. Students who were done with their first ePortfolio steps would walk around to help their classmates who were not done yet. Videos illustrate the implementation and the first ePortfolio exercise (taking 3 photos to show what they connect with "Earth Science"). 

The blog article Ms. Pas & Ms. Masiarczyk help students begin their ePortfolio journeys is a great example, taken directly from practice!

Question to the practitioners in classrooms: Is it really necessary to emphasize so much on the rules for using one's own devices when doing such an exercise?

Also worth mentioning: The blog of the TechCoaches features a good and concise "Mahara ePortfolio workflow", as well.