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Student views of formative and summative CAA

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conference contribution
posted on 2006-05-23, 16:43 authored by David O'Hare
Over the past two years students taking two biology modules at the University of Derby have been assessed using computer assessments with TRIADs (Tripartite Interactive Assessment Delivery System) in both their formal end of module examinations and for scored formative assessments. We were keen to establish the student views of the use of computer assessment and thus over this period in addition to the overall evaluation of the modules the students were also given the opportunity to evaluate these assessments. In the first instance an open ended approach was taken, and students were given the opportunity to anonymously write comments on the computer examinations. The results of this were encouraging in that only a minority of students (~5%) made non-positive comments on CAA with the majority of students being very positive on their CAA experiences. In addition a range of useful comments in relation to the application of CAA were provided by students, pertaining to comparability with traditional examinations and student learning strategy these are also discussed. However, the results of this initial evaluation though interesting were largely qualitative and left us with a number of areas which we did not have any useful information. We also wished to gain some information on the student perceptions on the validity of the assessment in terms of its level of difficulty and its relation to the content of the course. Thus a questionaire was constructed which measured student views of the structure, clarity, difficulty of the assessment (as well as their overall opinion). This was then delivered to students at the end of a scored formative assessment on Mendelian genetics and their formal module examination both produced using TRIADs. Thus the opinion of students on computer based formative exercises and computer based terminal examinations could be compared. Statistical analysis of the data from the questionnaires has revealed that students thought both types of assessments to be well structured, fair, clear and well matched to the content of the course. However, the examination although scoring at a similar level in other categories, was seen as more difficult by students (which was evident from the grades). In addition to these quantitative measures, students were also offered the opportunity to make any additional comments regarding the assessment. This allowed specific problem questions to be identified, which provided extra information for the post test DIF analysis. The author suggests that use of assessment questionnaires of this type can aid both the tutor and the student in the evaluation of the learning process. http://www.derby.ac.uk/ciad/



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O'Hare, D., 2001. Student Views of Formative and Summative CAA. IN: Proceedings of the 5th CAA Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University


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