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Computer Assisted Assessment: a case study with English linguistics students Dr Paola Trimarco University Campus Suffolk.

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Presentation on theme: "Computer Assisted Assessment: a case study with English linguistics students Dr Paola Trimarco University Campus Suffolk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Computer Assisted Assessment: a case study with English linguistics students Dr Paola Trimarco University Campus Suffolk

2 context 12-week Language Analysis module of an English (Hons) BA course. First year students 48 students, 29 = years old Computers widely available at university, but not used specifically in the classrooms.

3 Role of computers in Language Analysis module UCS version of Blackboard Communications: s Announcements Gradebook Classroom activities: Presentations On-line demonstrations Outside class: Self-assessments Group Wiki Discussion forum Essays on-line

4 Formative assessment strategy Gibbs and Simpson ( ): Frequent assignments or tests (such as computer-based assessment) can distribute student effort across the course… while infrequent assignments… may result in intensive studying for a week or two immediately prior to the assignment deadline, while topics not covered by the assignment can be largely ignored. (p. 14) Coursework : 4 graded, 2 ungraded and 2 self- assessments.

5 Readings, lectures, seminars Optional self- assessment (multiple choice) Ungraded formative assessment (presentations) Graded essay assessment Optional self- assessment (matching) Graded essay assessment Formative assessment strategy

6 Self-assessment General –Makes learners aware of their needs in a less competitive environment than the classroom –Builds self-confidence in working within the topic (easier than essay writing) –Differentiation- optional quizzes & students work at their own pace Specific –Tests knowledge of terms and basic concepts that will be used in other formative and summative assessments

7 Multiple choice/matching on-line Advantages: –an objective format for assessment (Biggs 2003) –Unlike paper versions: multiple attempts are possible & students do not become tempted by answer sheets –Some students are motivated by VLEs (Snyder, 2002 and others)

8 Multiple choice/matching on-line Disadvantages: –Gives the answers that students might not otherwise have known/remembered –Guessing and various game-playing strategies –Limited to objective question types –Questions and answers set outside of real-life contexts –Can take more time to create than paper versions

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10 Students participation Multiple choice quiz 96% participation Average score 85%

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12 Students participation Matching grammar quiz 72% participation Average score 75% on first attempts, 90% on final attempts Average number of attempts: 2.4

13 On-line submission of assignments Advantages: Students can submit assignments from home at any hour Teachers comments are readable Corrected papers are stored for easy reference Easier to detect plagiarism Easier to send scripts to external markers Grades are calculated within the system

14 On-line submission of assignments Disadvantages: Students/teachers who do not like working digitally will resist Health concerns for continued work at a computer Some on-line systems can be more cumbersome to use than others (from the teachers perspective)

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17 Concluding comments For self-assessment CAA can prove useful and motivating for students. CAA quizzes, such as multiple-choice and matching, are limited in their suitability. On-line submissions of assignments have more advantages than disadvantages. On-line marking has made me a better teacher, Dr. Cathryn Pearce, UCS.


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