NORMA eResearch @NCI Library

A Study of Blended Assessment Techniques in On-line Testing

O'Loughlin, Eugene and Osterlind, Steven J. (2007) A Study of Blended Assessment Techniques in On-line Testing. In: AISHE Conference 2007 : Teaching and Learning in the Changing World of Higher Education, 30-31 August 2007, NUI Maynooth.

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Over the past few years, blended learning has become more and more popular for educators and students alike. However, assessment is slow to follow this trend – blended assessment has not yet gained the same status as blended learning.

Traditional on-line testing using various types of multiple choice questions (MCQ) has some disadvantages compared to written assessments. Principle among these is that educator’s cannot be certain if students have demonstrated knowledge levels appropriate to their marks – guessing and looking for patterns are obvious tactics used.

In this study, traditional methods of assessment are combined in an innovative way. Assessments used are primarily on-line MCQ-based, but for some key questions – written “follow-on” questions require written explanations on paper for choices made in the MCQ. For example, a student could be asked to identify the correct definition for a term from a list of possible answers given, and then asked to give an example in their own words of where the term is normally used. In this way, an educator can set an MCQ question and then ask for a further short explanation or description of an example that clearly illustrates student understanding.

Assessment results are gathered over four semesters in a two year experiment. Both undergraduate and post-graduate students were assessed in this method. Student performance in MCQ tests featuring “follow-on” questions is compared with traditional MCQ-only assessments for the same groups. Tests results are also examined to see if students benefit from the “follow-on” questions, where tests results including and excluding the “follow-on” questions are compared.

The key findings are that the method of blending assessment described is an effective way of combining MCQ-based questions with written questions in an assessment. A comparison of results in assessments that use MCQ tests featuring “follow-on” questions, versus traditional MCQ-only tests reveals that students’ benefited by getting higher marks in tests using “follow-on” questions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > T Technology (General) > Information Technology > Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions: School of Computing > Staff Research and Publications
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2014 16:11
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 16:11

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