Evaluation of Respondus assessment tool as a means of delivering summative assessments A KU SADRAS Project Student Academic Development Research Associate Scheme Laura Marshall, Mark Coombs, Peter Garside
Aims and Hypothesis • An evaluation of the Respondussoftware as a means of delivering MCQ online summative assessments. • To investigate the student experience, preparation, expectations, impact and results, in relation to their background and learning environment. • Students critically reflected on the process and considered how satisfied they were that the MCQ and software offered a fair assessment - one which reflected their perception of their understanding. • Our core hypothesis was that: • Students would prefer using the respondus software as a means of delivering a MCQ summative assessment, when compared to other forms of assessment, and that it would be a more objective reflection of knowledge.
Respondus and MCQ • The software package is for institutional use, facilitating online examinations such as multiple choice tests. • Delivered through Study Space with the aid of a lock down browser. • The test was one assessment for a module on the geographical contours of capitalism. • It lasted for one hour and consisted of 50 questions, 47 multiple choice and 3 missing word responses. • The questions were randomised and responses stored automatically – one question per screen. • Students were given an exemplar test prior to the exam.
An evaluation of the process • A group of students undertook evaluation under the SADRAS scheme. • Devised methodology in conjunction with staff. • Online questionnaire and focus groups. • All students who did the MCQ completed the questionnaire and focus group. • The evaluation team were part of the module.
Questionnaire Contradictions! Pros Cons 56.2 felt results and attendance correlated 50% had trouble deciding what to revise 31% spent less than 4 hrs revising 56% felt prepared 38% felt pattern of answers made them question their response 56% felt questions were worded clearly • 62.5% agreed MCQ encouraged attendance • 77% felt level of difficulty was appropriate • 93.7% felt they were well guided for exam • 70% felt less stressed preparing for MCQ than another form of exam • 87% felt exam material was well covered in module • 75% felt more confident taking this form of exam as opposed to other types
Essay Mark Exam Mark Correlation between attendance and Exam Mark ValueApprox. Sig. Pearson's R .787 000c Spearman Correlation. .741 001c Correlation between Exam Mark and Essay Mark ValueApprox. Sig. Pearson's R .277 .010c Spearman Correlation .092 .735c
Focus groups topics regarding the software. • A dummy run of using the software meant people knew what to expectfrom exam software. • Software was straightforward and easy to navigate. • Confident answers were being automaticallystored. • Some mentioned that they didn’t realise they could go back to questions to revise answers to questions. • Would have been useful to flag answers to questions you were unsure of, to go back to. • Short answer question would have been preferable over a missing word question (type a one word answer into a box). • Fontand size of text didn’t appear to be consistent throughout – possible fault – distraction! • Separate pages for each question prevented an awareness of a response pattern.
Focus group topics regarding the assessment On the exam… On the outcomes of the exam… On how the assessment fits in with the course overall… • More comfortable, knowing answer was there (through the multiple choice format). • Someone made the point that they think males are better at making snap judgements, whereas females are more careful and review the answers. • Essaysfocus in on one part of the course whereas the multiple choice exam has a wider range of topics. • tested memory on specific facts, concepts and theorists • Tests comprehension. • “Maybe I didn’t know it to the depth that I should”. • “ Was a wake up call as I thought I had a good grasp on the topics but realised I was uncertain on some aspects”. • “Not sure if it was a lack of studying or not knowing what topics to revise.” • “I thought it was a fair assessment of the material covered.” • Would have liked it to be formativerather than summative. • Would prefer a test like this to be done every two weeks. • Some people didn’t achieve a grade they thought was representative of their comprehension of the subject. • Some preferred presentations or essays as forms of assessment.
Findings & conclusions • Relationship between attendance and result was significant. • The relationship between exam and essay results was negligible. • The software and environment worked well. • Exam produced a wider distribution of marks (objective?) • Exam did not favour any particular group. • Staff front end resource intensive – developing questions and testing software.
Recommendations • Student have ability to flag questions to return to. • Student have ability to change text size. • Staff have ability to check final test from student perspective – consistency font, etc. • Run questions by students from year above? • Have summative MCQ tests regular intervals. • Avoid factual questions just based on recall. • Students have ability to review responses and answers at a later date.