Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
||Changing Assessment Practices in First and Second Year Geography
Modules using Computer-Assisted Assessment (CAA) to set Formative and
Summative Objective Tests
||Professor Keith Chapman
||Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen, AB9 2UF
||+44 (0)1224 272328
||+44 (0)1224 272331
On-line CAA was introduced for three large classes in 1996/97. It is designed to improve feedback to students, and to reduce the marking loads of staff. This initiative is part of a wider project based in the Department of Geography, with the following aims:
CAA in the first year modules has replaced a traditional two hour examination consisting of three essay-style questions. The overall course assessment also included tutorial essays and practicals. These continuous assessment elements have been retained and increased in relative importance. The new examination takes the form of a 45 minute objective test using CAA. Three in-course self-assessment exercises are included to enhance student-centred learning, and provide preparation for the summative examination.
- development of guidelines and training materials to aid staff, in different disciplines, in setting and implementing formative and summative objective tests in their courses, using Question Mark Designer for Windows.
- development of questions for question banks and implementation of objective tests for formative self-assessment tests and summative examinations in three Geography modules (two first year and one second year).
- to use the experience of changing assessment methods in Geography, which is one of the biggest departments in the University in terms of student numbers, as a pilot scheme to test the possibilities of implementing CAA examinations at Aberdeen, using the existing computer facilities and involving large numbers of students. This represents a major initiative and a serious test of the logistics of CAA.
The 2nd Year module was assessed by a combination of written exam and practical projects. This has changed to a CAA examination of 45 minutes. Continuous assessment consists of a prepared essay written in class and 11 practicals, 3 of which are marked, of the remaining 8 duly performed, half have a CAA element.
Project Outcomes will be a Self-teaching Tutorial - Setting Effective Objective Tests and a Protocol - Implementation of summative CAA examinations.
Computer-assisted assessment (CAA)
Question Mark Designer
An expanded version of this case study abstract appears in the GDN Guide "Assessment in Geography"
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Page created 3 February 1997
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