Sparking a Light: Supporting Interactive Online Assessments

During the early stages of the pivot to online assessments, an ASCILITE seminar led by Griffith University, Australia, introduced the Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU) to interactive oral assessments. As designing robust assessments that could quality assure students’ learning was a key priority during the transition to online assessment, this seminar sparked a light. 

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

It led to early discussions, and ultimately a collaboration between DCU TEU and Griffith University to pilot interactive oral assessments in DCU. This collaboration quickly became a Community of Practice (CoP) where a small group of DCU academics across all five faculties began using interactive oral assessments as a viable alternative to traditional assessments. The CoP changes over each semester, with some new recruits, some past members dipping in and out, and some staying throughout the three semesters this CoP and pilot has been running. 

Interactive orals are an authentic assessment approach that effectively helps prepare students for employment, and when used as part of strategically designed integrated assessment, promotes academic integrity. This short 2 minute video provides a quick introduction to the approach through the voices of both DCU students and academics involved in the initiative.

A TEU Interactive Oral User Guide is also available to support academics wishing to use this approach. The DCU CoP are at an advanced stage of a research article to share experiences… watch this space.

An exciting enhancement to the DCU Interactive Oral CoP is a shared Interactive Oral CoP with Griffith University and Charles Sturt University in Australia. The first meeting was held on 24th November 2021, hosted by the TEU. At a two-hour meeting, over twenty academics (8 from DCU) presented vignettes of their use of interactive oral across all disciplines. This shared CoP will continue to meet twice a year to collaborate and share experience and research in this space.

If you would like any more information on this initiative or are interested in joining the CoP, please email