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Technology-Mediated Assessment Jack McGourty, Columbia University John Merrill, Ohio State University Mary Besterfield-Sacre & Larry Shuman, University.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology-Mediated Assessment Jack McGourty, Columbia University John Merrill, Ohio State University Mary Besterfield-Sacre & Larry Shuman, University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology-Mediated Assessment Jack McGourty, Columbia University John Merrill, Ohio State University Mary Besterfield-Sacre & Larry Shuman, University of Pittsburgh Gateway Engineering Education Coalition

2 Technology-Mediated Assessment Introduction Your Expectations Applications Drexel and Columbias Course Evaluation Ohio States Activities Team Evaluator Your Experiences Enablers and Barriers (Break-out Groups) Conclusions

3 Introduction Reasons for Online-Assessment Common Applications Design and Development Things to Think About

4 Reasons for On-Line Assessment Customized development Targeted communication Ease of distribution/no boundaries Automatic data collection and analyses Real time response monitoring Timely feedback

5 Common Applications Attitude Surveys Multisource assessment and feedback Course evaluations Portfolios Technology-mediated interviews Tests

6 Design and Development Item/Question development Adaptive testing/expert systems Multimedia tutorials Dialogue boxes Reporting wizards

7 Things to Think About Confidentiality/Privacy Response rates Reliability/Validity Ease of use Administrators, end users System growth Can it easily be upgraded? Adding modules System flexibility Survey/test construction Data flexibility Item databases Reporting wizards Data storage Platforms Specific vs. combination Reporting Various levels Dissemination mechanisms Real time vs. delayed

8 Technology in Education Dr. John Merrill The Ohio State University Introduction To Engineering Program Technology Enabled Assessment The Wave of The Future

9 Objectives Explanation of web-based assessment tools Uses of assessment tools Virtual run-through of student actions Lessons learned Q&A

10 Web-Based Assessment Tools Course Sorcerer (through WebCT) Online Journal Entries Course Evaluations Team Evaluator Peer Evaluations

11 WebCT WebCT is a commercial web-based tool used for course management. IE Program uses/capabilities: Electronic grade book, chat rooms, bulletin boards, calendars Provides links to Course Material Course Sorcerer Team Evaluations (Team Evaluator)

12 Course Sorcerer A simple, web-based evaluation tool created by Scott Cantor at University Technology Services Technical Specifications: Written in Cold Fusion Run on Windows NT with a Netscape Enterprise Web Server Uses a MS SQL Server database with 15 tables Server Machine: PII-450 w/ 512M of RAM Accesses Sybase running on Solaris 2.6 as a warehouse for roster data. Used for Journal Entries & Course Evaluations

13 Team Evaluator (Peer Evaluation) Used by team members to provide confidential assessment System Requirements: Operating System: Windows 2000 with ActivePerl or UNIX with Perl 5.004 or higher Perl Modules: CGI, DBI (plus SQL drivers), POSIX SQL Server: MySQL 3.23 or higher Web Server: IIS (Windows) or Apache 1.3 (UNIX) CPU: Pentium II 400 or better recommended Memory: 128 MB or higher recommended Disk Space: 100 MB for adequate database space

14 Journal Entries Students complete journal entries online every two weeks. Submissions are anonymous. All entries are read and summarized by a staff member and shared with the instructional team. Instructional team members share the summaries with their classes.

15 Course Evaluations Students in 181 & 182 complete online course evaluations at the end of each quarter. Questions designed to evaluate courses based on items a-k of Criterion 3, Program Outcomes & Assessment, in the ABET Engineering Criteria, 2000.

16 Short Term Uses Journal Entries & Course Evaluations Address immediate student concerns/questions about class, labs, or projects. Inquire about student problems with specific topics and labs. Discover general information from students in regards to interests, influences, and attitudes.

17 Example Addressing Immediate Student Concerns How are the figures supposed to be done? Strictly isometric or just drawn so you can see everything? What pieces need to be labeled? What are we doing in labs 6 & 7? I know it says in the syllabus that we are incorporating the sorting mechanism, but is that going to take two weeks?

18 Long-Term Uses Journal Entries & Course Evaluations Improve program content Improve course materials Modify teaching styles Evaluate course based on ABET criteria

19 Example Improving Course Content Positive: I... - Gained knowledge about circuits in general - Learned how to read schematics - Learned how to use breadboards - Further developed team working skills Negative: - The circuits did not work the first time. - Time ran short for both labs, but we did finish each circuit.

20 How It Works Start: WebCT site:

21 Completion Tracking

22 Lessons Learned Journal Entries & Course Evaluations Students are more likely to complete if given credit. Students are extremely responsive to the anonymity of the online survey. Students respond positively when asked for suggestions/solutions to problems in the class.

23 Web Enhanced Course Evaluation at Columbia University Jack McGourty Columbia University

24 Overview A little history How does course assessment fit into the big picture? Why use web technology? How is it being done? Does it work?

25 History Columbias Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science began using the web for course assessment about four years ago starting with a student administered web site for results Designed and developed state-of-the-art system using student teams Now building on current infrastructure to include on-line tutorials and increased flexibility for administration

26 Student Web Site Search by course or faculty Current and past results No comments

27 The Big Picture Why are we assessing courses and programs? Continuous improvement of the education process What are we doing right, and what can we do better? Integral part of our ABET EC2000 Compliance Develop a process Collect and evaluate data Close the loop Document/Archive results Course evaluation one of several outcome assessment measures such as senior exit surveys, enrolled student surveys, and alumni surveys

28 How WCES Fits in

29 Using Technology Pro Students have the time to consider their responses Timely feedback Responses are easily analyzed, archived and distributed Less paper Lower cost/efficient administration Con You lose the captive audience You cant guarantee a diversity of opinions Motivated/Non- motivated Like course/Dislike course Not necessarily less effort

30 Course Assessment Details 10 Core Items Course Quality Instructor Quality Relevant ABET EC2000 Items Pre-selected by faculty member Customized questions for specific course objectives

31 Selecting EC2000 Questions

32 Monitoring Faculty Usage One of our culture change metrics is the percentage of faculty who are capitalizing on the system and adding custom and EC2000 questions. Currently around 15%.

33 Course Evaluation Results Web page access Current terms assessment Limited time window Limited access Secure site Previous terms results Open access to numerical results; not comments Email Results Individual faculty Aggregate Data – Department Chairs

34 Reporting

35 Promoting Responses Student-driven results website Multiple targeted emails to students and faculty from Dean Announcements in classes Posters all over the school Random prize drawing

36 Closing the Loop

37 Does it Work? Student response rates have steadily increased over past two years from 72% to 85% More detail in student written comments in course assessments Data is available that we have never had before Faculty use of ABET EC2000 and Customized question features increasing but still limited (15%)

38 Cross Institutional Assessment with a Customized Web-Based Survey System Mary Besterfield-Sacre & Larry Shuman University of Pittsburgh This work is sponsored by two grants by the Engineering Information Foundation, EiF 98-01, Perception versus Performance: The Effects of Gender and Ethnicity Across Engineering Programs, and the National Science Foundation, Action Agenda - EEC-9872498, Engineering Education: Assessment Methodologies and Curricula Innovations

39 Why a Web-Based Survey System for Assessment? Need for a mechanism to routinely Elicit student self-assessments and evaluations Facilitate both tracking and benchmarking Most engineering schools lack sufficient resources to conduct requisite program assessments Expertise Time Funds Triangulation of multiple measures Multiple measures

40 Pitt On-line Student Survey System (Pitt-OS 3 ) Allows multiple engineering schools to conduct routine program evaluations using EC 2000 related web-based survey instruments. Assess and track students at appropriate points in their academic careers via questionnaires Survey students throughout their undergraduate career Freshman Pre and Post Sophomore Junior Senior Alumni Freshman orientation expanded to include Math Placement Examinations Mathematics Inventory Self-Assessment

41 Knowledge-Based Competence Application Area Synthesize multiple areas Can Take on Complexity Accept Ambiguity Welcome Environment Confidence Develop Comfort Preparation Opportunity and Application Work Experience EC Outcomes Attitudes and Valuing Student-Focused Model

42 System-Focused Model

43 Pitt OS 3 Conduct routine program evaluation via surveys through the web Data collection Report generation (under development) Web versus paper surveys Pros Administration ease Minimize obtrusiveness Data is cleaner Cons Lower response than paper-pencil surveys User/Technical issues

44 Pitt OS 3 System Components

45 Pitt OS 3 Local Administrator Individual at the school where the surveys are being conducted Responsible for the administering the surveys through a web- interface Controls the appearance of the survey Selects school colors Uploads school emblem/logo Selects survey survey beginning and ending dates Composes initial and reminder email letter(s) to students Cut-and-pastes user login names and email address Manages surveys in progress Extends surveys beyond original dates

46 Pitt OS 3 Local Administrator




50 Pitt OS 3 Student Java Applet running on a web browser One question per screen minimizes scroll bar confusion Once student submits questionnaire, results are compressed and sent to the OS 3 server Results stored and students password is invalidated Confirmation screen thanks the student for taking the survey Can accommodate users who do not have email accounts

51 Pitt OS 3 Sample Student Email

52 Pitt OS 3 Student Welcome

53 Pitt OS 3 Student Instructions

54 Pitt OS 3 Questionnaire

55 Pitt OS 3 How it Works Every day OS 3 summarizes all active surveys for each school Summary reports on the number of students who have and have not taken the survey Specific students can also be viewed from the local administrators account Upon completion of the survey dates Email addresses are stripped from the system Only login names remain with results Only time the OS 3 system has student email addresses is when the local admin is receiving daily updates about their active surveys

56 Pitt OS 3 Sample Daily Report

57 Pitt OS 3 Evaluation of the System Piloted on five schools Multiple surveys concurrently at each school Multiple schools at one time Response rates vary (30 - 70% on average) Example University of Pittsburgh - April 2001 One initial with two reminder emails over 2.5 weeks Responses Freshman70% Sophomores48% Junior44% Varied by department Some usernames had +

58 Pitt OS 3 System Trace of One School Freshman Post Survey Survey available for two weeks with one reminder message 57% overall response rate Increased server traffic 2 to 24 hours after each email Design concerns 63% of students had to log in more than one time Multiple logins due to case sensitive passwords 14% never finished - browser problems or didnt want to finish 10% gave up - just didnt complete login

59 Pitt OS 3 Issues to Consider Consent for Human Subjects Discuss with institutions Internal Review Board Surveys often exempt Java Applets not supported by very old browsers HTML as alternate Firewalls established by other organizations

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