Semi-Automatic assessment of students' graph-based diagrams
2011-06-03T09:06:17Z (GMT) by
Diagrams are increasingly used in many design methods, and are being taught in a variety of contexts in higher education such as database conceptual design or software design in computer science. They are an important part of many assessments. Currently computer aided assessments are widely used for multiple choice questions. They lack the ability to assess a student’s knowledge in a more comprehensive way, which is required for diagram-type student work. The aim of this research is to develop a semi-automatic assessment framework, which enables the use of computer to support the assessment process of diagrammatic solutions, with the focus of ensuring the consistency of grades and feedback on solutions. A novel trace model, that captures design traces of student solutions, was developed as a part of the framework and was used to provide the matching criteria for grouping the solutions. A new marking style, partial marking, was developed to mark these solution groups manually. The Case-Based Reasoning method is utilised in the framework to mark some of the groups automatically. A guideline for scenario writing was proposed to increase the efficiency of automatic marking. A prototype diagram editor, a marking tool and scenario writing environment were implemented for the proposed framework in order to demonstrate proof of concept. The results of experiments show that the framework is feasible to use in the formative assessment and it provides consistent marking and personalised feedback to the students. The framework also has the potential to significantly reduce the time and effort required by the examiner to mark student diagrams. Although the constructed framework was specifically used for the assessment of database diagrams, the framework is generic enough to be used for other types of graph-based diagram.