Resource Database: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Title Changing Assessment Practices in First and Second Year Geography Modules using Computer-Assisted Assessment (CAA) to set Formative and Summative Objective Tests
Originator Professor Keith Chapman
Department Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen, AB9 2UF
Tel. +44 (0)1224 272328
Fax. +44 (0)1224 272331
E-mail geo016@abdn.ac.uk

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.

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.

Keywords:

Assessment
Computer-assisted assessment (CAA)
Formative assessment
Objective tests
Question Mark Designer
Summative assessment

An expanded version of this case study abstract appears in the GDN Guide "Assessment in Geography"


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