The effectiveness of computer-aided assessment for purposes of a mathematical sciences lecturer

Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA) is becoming an increasingly popular method for assessing students in their mathematics courses in higher education. This article examines six lecturers’ practices of using CAA on their mathematics courses. The interview with these lecturers revealed that the CAA system did provide many benefits that were promised; however, there were some important aims not satisfied by the system, which limited the scope of its effectiveness. Using a model for effective assessment, which draws upon ideas from the assessment literature and cultural-historical activity theory, the lecturer interviews give an insight into what stops this assessment tool from remaining effective. This study shows that the CAA system was reasonably effective to an extent, and lecturers had achieved a relatively stable practice that they were satisfied to maintain; however, there were shortcomings with the existing system that limited the scope of its effectiveness, which led to diverse practices and a desire to change system.