Interactivity in Online Assessment in Science
conference contributionposted on 19.05.2006, 15:28 by Geoffrey Crisp
The ability of students to interact with teaching material is a key feature adopted by academic staff and publishers as a method to enhance student interest when using resources prepared for web delivery. Multimedia presentations are also frequently used in university courses and students usually respond favorably to well prepared, visually stimulating material. It should be possible to use this same approach to enliven both formative and summative assessment tasks that are delivered via the web. We are developing modules for online assessment using the commercial package TestPilot [http://www.clearlearning.com]. In particular, we are incorporating freeware or shareware java applets into student assessment tasks. Our goal is to enhance the experience and performance of students undertaking any form of online assessment or web-based, interactive activity by providing a suite of tested applications that can be embedded into the assessment or online activity. Although browser plugins may be used for providing interactivity in web pages through packaged applications, we have found this is distracting for students who may not have the appropriate version on their home computer. This paper discusses the criteria we are currently using to assess existing java applets for incorporation into online assessment in science subjects. We will present examples of java applets in tests and present details of the advantages and disadvantages of using these applets in different browsers and on different platforms. The approach we are taking is not dependent on the commercial software we are using to deliver the online tests, but would be applicable to many of the online assessment tools available.
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