Populating the testbank: experiences within the electrical and electronic engineering curriculum
conference contributionposted on 23.05.2006, 17:39 by Sean Wellington, Su White, Hugh C. Davis
e3an1 is a HEFCE funded collaborative project to develop a network of expertise in assessment issues within electrical and electronic engineering (EEE). A major focus of this project is the development of a testbank of peer-reviewed questions for use both in formative and summative assessment. The resulting testbank will contain thousands of well-constructed and tested questions and answers from which teachers may select questions appropriate to their students' needs. During Autumn 2000, consultants (subject specialists) from the partner institutions met to identify important learning outcomes for their subject specialism, and then produced sets of appropriate questions (and model answers) to assess those learning outcomes. The paper will focus on the techniques employed to get academics to contribute to the testbank. It describes the process employed to generate peer-reviewed questions in the first phase of the project. It relates our experiences of recruiting and training subject Specialist consultants were drawn initially from the partner institutions. Subject teams were established and these agreed key curriculum areas and coverage of the testbank for each particular theme. Authors used MS-Word templates to enter their questions, and these templates also required the authors to enter metadata - information about the questions such as the subject the question examines, the level of the question, the type of question, the cognitive skills required, the time expected etc. This information was used in the database to design an interface to allow teachers to select appropriate sets of questions from the testbank. Experiences of writing and codifying questions, particularly in terms of ascribing attributes such as cognitive level will be discussed, also the peer review process that was adopted.A surprising but pleasing outcome of the work of the subject teams was that there was little disagreement about the required content of the questions and when the questions were reviewed there was agreement about the standard they represented.
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