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|Title: ||Is computer-based assessment good for students?|
|Authors: ||Ricketts, Chris|
|Keywords: ||student performance|
|Issue Date: ||2001|
|Publisher: ||© Loughborough University|
|Citation: ||RICKETTS and WILKS, 2001. Is Computer-Based Assessment Good for Students? IN: Proceedings of the 5th CAA Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University|
|Abstract: ||One of the benefits of computer-based assessment is that, if used for formative
assessment, it can improve student performance in summative assessments
(Charman & Elmes 1998; Sly & Rennie, 1999). During the introduction of computerbased
assessment in a first-year module on numeracy and statistics in Biology, online
assessment was used to replace OMR-marked multiple-choice tests. The online
system was used to provide improved feedback to students, rather than
formative or pre-testing.
Analysis of student results in two successive years shows that students using on-line
assessment did not perform as well as those using OMR-marked multiple-choice
questions, even when the same questions were given to the students. The
difference in performance cannot be attributed to a weaker student cohort, as their
performance in other areas showed no differences. This suggests that students
may be slightly disadvantaged by the introduction of on-line assessment.
This drop in performance took place in the face of general student acceptance of the
introduction of on-line assessment. Students generally (66%) felt that they had been
given enough preparation, and had not (78%) prepared differently for this
examination. The most striking finding was that 88% of students liked having their
mark instantly available.
A few students felt that on-line examinations were more stressful or had
disadvantaged them because they hate computers. This is in line with the
comments of Brosnan (1999) about computer anxiety affecting performance.
However, it is interesting to note that one dyslexic student found the on-line
examination an advantage. In addition, a number of other students remarked that
this format was less stressful than other exams.
The most common negative remark from students related to the difficulty of
interacting with the assessment because it was presented on a computer screen.
We therefore suggest that the mode of presentation of assessments can
significantly influence student performance, and that appropriate screen design is an
important factor in on-line assessment.|
|Description: ||This is a conference paper.|
|Appears in Collections:||CAA Conference|
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