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This paper synthesises three theoretical perspectives, including sociocultural theory, distributed cognition, and situated cognition, into a framework to guide the design and assessment of Web 2.0 practices in higher education. In addition, this paper presents a case study of Web 2.0 practices. Thirty-seven online graduate students participated in a small-group collaborative concept mapping activity using Web 2.0 applications (e.g. Webspiration) to construct sophisticated understanding of instructional design processes. The analysis of this case focuses on different assessment strategies adopted to ensure students' successful participation in such technology-rich collaborative context. This case study concludes that a shared goal needs to be in place to establish a purpose of collaboration. The collaborative nature of learning afforded by Web 2.0 applications needs to be acknowledged through the award of grades. That is, both the processes and products of collaborative knowledge construction need to be assessed and formally graded at individual and group levels. This paper also suggests several potential assessment strategies that may enhance smoother Web 2.0 practices, and discusses some possible challenges associated with those strategies.

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This document was originally published by Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) in Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. Copyright restrictions may apply.