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Meeting the Assessment Challenge: finding practical approaches. Su White and Hugh Davis IAM Learning Technologies: ECS, The University of Southampton. e 3 an Electrical and Electronic Engineering Assessment Network.

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Meeting the assessment challenge finding practical approaches

Meeting the Assessment Challenge: finding practical approaches

Su White and Hugh Davis

IAM Learning Technologies:

ECS, The University of Southampton

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an electrical and electronic engineering assessment network

e3an Electrical and Electronic Engineering Assessment Network

a three year HEFCE project fromthe Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning (FDTL)

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an the participants
e3an - the participants

South Coast HEIs

  • Southampton

  • Portsmouth

  • Bournemouth

  • Southampton Institute

  • consultants across the sector

  • plus steering group (IEE, CAA Centre)

PHEE April 2001

The importance of assessment 1
the importance of assessment - 1

  • QAA feedback says we are all bad at feedback

  • QAA wish to see how assessment links to learning outcomes

  • subject benchmarks

  • National Qualifications Framework

PHEE April 2001

The importance of assessment 2
the importance of assessment - 2

  • assessment shapes students’ learning

  • the importance of dialogue and feedback

  • early diagnosis of problems

    • lecturer

    • student

PHEE April 2001

E3an the context
e3an – the context …

much existing good practice

  • expertise built up over years

  • solutions for particular contexts

  • technology and people approaches

  • identify, explore, acknowledge, disseminate

    work collaboratively across sector

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an the plan
e3an - the plan

question banks as a focus

  • peer reviewed test banks of questions for electrical and electronic engineering

  • questions produced and reviewed by paid consultants

    supporting materials on methods and practices, workshops and consultancies

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an the plan1
e3an - the plan...

  • questions banks may be:

    • multiple choice objective tests

    • text based traditional tests

    • self assessment, feedback, course assignments, exam questions

    • mainly for formative and diagnostic assessment – but also as source of ideas for summative assessment

PHEE April 2001

So what is innovative about this
so what is innovative about this?

  • it has never been done like this before

  • the questions will form a yardstick against which achievement may be gauged

  • the project aims to build a network of “champions” across the sector

  • the project focuses on assessment outcomes rather than technology

PHEE April 2001

Themes and teams
themes and teams

theme leader plus expert consultants

  • categorising syllabus

  • cash available for travel plus small fee

  • local teams in phase one - trialling the process, four themes

  • national teams in phase two, eight themes

PHEE April 2001

Theme process
theme process

Working together the theme teams:

  • identify question targets

  • discuss levels and approach

  • agree division of tasks

  • write and review questions

  • trial and evaluate questions

PHEE April 2001

Phase one themes
phase one themes

  • Analogue Electronics

  • Digital and Micro Processors

  • Circuit Theory

  • Signal Processing

PHEE April 2001

Phase two target themes

Power Electronics


Computer Programming

Control Engineering





NB all open for discussion

phase two target themes

PHEE April 2001

Database and interoperability
database and interoperability

  • XML database

  • IMS QTI interoperability standards ++

  • objective tests for common test engines

  • collaboration with other projects

  • print as the lowest common denominator

  • some examples...

PHEE April 2001

Project questions
project questions

  • interoperability standards - reality of vapourware?

  • how should authors produce questions for maximum interoperability?

  • are some question types more interoperable than others?

  • how do we choose a system for interoperability?

PHEE April 2001

More project questions

creating test banks in a cost-effective manner

choosing themes (usefulness, greatest gains, ++)

classifying questions - level of skills , difficulty, cognitive skills, time required

subdividing question banks into sub themes

which themes/items suit CAA, which don't how to establish an effective peer review process

more project questions

PHEE April 2001

Looking to the future
looking to the future

  • greater involvement of existing expertise

  • barriers and drivers for use and dissemination

  • distribution models

  • continuation growth and maintenance of the test bank

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an the benefits
e3an - the benefits

  • identifying and spreading good practice

  • evaluated trial use of automated assessment on campus

  • potential to trial new software (e.g. web based QM perception)

  • potential time savings

  • students feedback improved (in time for next QA / academic review

PHEE April 2001

E 3 an more details
e3an - more details

  • Su White

  • [email protected]

  • tel +44 (0)23 8059 4471

  • fax +44 (0)23 8059 2865


    please contact us if you would like to be involved :-)

PHEE April 2001