McALPINE, M., 2001. Using Computer Assisted Assessment to Facilitate Resource Selection. IN: Proceedings of the 5th CAA Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
The number of computer mediated learning resources is growing at a phenomenal rate,
and the advent of the web has made access easier than ever. This has however led to
difficulties identifying resources suitable for the particular teaching purpose needed.
One way round this is through directories, however the information that they provide is
often limited to a few parameters. Where human evaluation is included, the review is
often too short to give meaningful advice on its quality and most appropriate usage, or
too long to enable quick identification.
Modern computer assisted assessment packages are capable of storing and analysing
vast amounts of information on student learning. With appropriate analysis this data
can be used to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of individual students and match
these to learning resources that meet their needs.
This paper outlines a proposal to use the analysis of Rasch residuals to compile profiles
of individual students. Rasch analysis allows computation of a candidate’s average
ability and a question’s average difficulty. Where an individual candidate’s ability on
one question is below their average, they can be considered to be weaker on that
question than on others. Students can then be directed to resources that address that
weakness. This overcomes the problems of manually identifying student needs.
Computer assisted assessment generates a great deal of data which can be utilised far
more fully than is currently the case. This paper urges the CAA community to look
beyond the creation of items and towards their future analysis.