Evaluating the costs and benefits of changing to CAA

This paper investigates the introduction of Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) into a Mathematics course that was already being delivered using Computer Aided Learning (CAL). It shows that this method of assessment can reduce, quite dramatically, the hours spent by staff on setting and marking examination papers. It can also provide cost gains to the institution by improving retention rate and allowing students to join a course without having gained the usual prerequisite qualifications. It allows students from diverse backgrounds to complete a course at their own pace. By setting more short assessments that are topic related, the students cannot miss out difficult topics and have to gain a pass in them all. A survey of the students found that the majority of them preferred this method of assessment to traditional exams.