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Some Guidelines to Support the Selection of a Test Management Toll for Web-based Assessment

Some Guidelines to Support the Selection of a Test Management Toll for Web-based Assessment
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Author(s): S. Valenti (University of Ancona, Italy), A. Cucchiarelli (University of Ancona, Italy) and M. Panti (University of Ancona, Italy)
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 5
Source title: Challenges of Information Technology Management in the 21st Century
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-84-1.ch055

Abstract

It is now a well-established and widely accepted concept that assessment plays a central role in the educational process. The search for assessment methods able to reach objective judgement of student’s knowledge is a crucial goal for both teachers and educational institutions. The teacher looks for homogeneous treatment of the students and for useful hints on her educational activity in terms of clarity, completeness and effectiveness, whereas the educational institution tries to log the teacher’s activity and the quality of the service offered to the students. Moreover, the growing mobility of the manpower everywhere requires the educational institutions to comply with international standards of crediting courses, and the diffusion of computer based distance learning forces them to cope with problems posed by self-assessment procedures. Dealing with large classes raises a number of problems both from the lecturer and the students point of view, and teaching large classes is often seen as a difficult and unwelcome assignment (Valenti, 2000). Furthermore, the lecturer is able to know only a limited number of students and since the lectures follow one another in a short interval of time, only a few of the students with questions about the material can be helped. The same considerations are equally true for the support that may be given in office hours. Furthermore, exams cannot be taken by all the students at the same time, due to lack of resources: this often reflects in exams being graded by different people with differences in grading styles, that may become relevant regardless to any “grading blending” policy. The freshmen, on their side, often have problems adjusting from teacher-led form of education used in high schools. Many of them need support as they make the transition to a learning style in which they have to take great responsibility for their own education. In particular they are often worried by the way exams are carried out, since the only possibility to verify the results of the learning process is just one final examination at the end of then course without the chance of any intermediate checkpoint. In particular they appreciate frequent feedback on their progress and reassurance that any misconceptions may be identified and fixed. However, the decrease in resources to be used for tutoring and the increase in class sizes often leads to poor feedback to students, which often reflects either in delaying their career or in poor grading.

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