How shall we assess this?

Janet Carter, Kirsti Ala-Mutka, Ursula Fuller, Martin Dick, John English, William Fone, Judy Sheard. How shall we assess this?. ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 35(4):107-123, 2003. [doi]


Increased class sizes are forcing academics to reconsider approaches to setting and marking assessments for their students. Distributed and distance learning are creating some of the biggest changes. Some educators are embracing new technologies but others are more wary of what they do not know. In order to address this issue it is first necessary to investigate the types of assessment currently in use and the perceptions that are held by academics with and without experience of the new technologies that are becoming available.In this paper we present the findings of an international survey of Computer Science academics teaching a variety of topics within the discipline. The findings are split into two sections: a snapshot of current assessment practices and an analysis of respondents’ perceptions of Computer Aided Assessment (CAA). Academics’ opinions about the advantages and disadvantages of CAA are split in line with level of experience of using such techniques. Those with no experience of CAA suggest that it cannot be used to test higher-order learning outcomes and that the quality of the immediate feedback is poor; these negative opinions diminish as experience is gained.