June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.597.1 - 10.597.7
Evaluation of Computer-Based Assessment Methods for Engineering Courses
Neil L. Book and Oliver C. Sitton Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering University of Missouri-Rolla
Several computer-based assessment methods have been used in chemical engineering classes at the University of Missouri-Rolla. This experience provides the basis for an evaluation of the technology and human factors involved in the application of these methods.
From the student’s perspective, the major strength of computer-based assessments is the instantaneous feedback that is provided. From the instructor’s perspective, the major strengths are twofold: 1) rapid grading and 2) individualized assessments. The major drawbacks for the students are the loss of partial credit and the insecurity associated with working in a virtual environment. Faculty find that the time required to construct effective computer-based assessments is much greater than that for paper-based assessments. Unfortunately, the increase in construction time can be greater than the reduction in grading time. With the current technology, it is extremely difficult to develop large, multi-step problems requiring problem analysis and solution synthesis skills without leading the student to the answer. This, of course, defeats the purpose of the assessment for this type of problem.
The technology for implementing computer-based assessments is rapidly evolving. As technological shortcomings are identified, they are quickly eliminated. Thus, difficulties with human factors are more important for long-term implementation than technological shortcomings. Students are very comfortable with the technology and adapt to its usage very rapidly. However, the technology is not perfectly reliable and this leads to insecurity for both the student and the instructor. Instructors seek technology that enhances learning. This enhancement is most useful if it comes with modest increases in time and effort and with technology that is user-friendly. The benefits of active learning in various forms (active learning, collaborative learning, cooperative learning, and problem-based learning) are well-documented6. However, active
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Sitton, O., & Book, N. (2005, June), Evaluation Of Computer Based Assessment Methods For Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15190
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