Moving beyond multiple-choice questions: interactivity in e-assessments

Geoffrey Crisp
University of Adelaide, Australia

It is often difficult for discipline teachers and academic developers to prepare online assessment tasks that require higher order capabilities and skills. The difficulty frequently resides in the conflicting requirements in the online environment for automated marking and provision of appropriate feedback to students with the amount of time taken to prepare questions that assess the development of relational and extended abstract abilities associated with using higher order capabilities and skills. This workshop will provide practical opportunities for participants from most discipline areas, including the sciences and engineering, business and economics, as well as the humanities and professions, to explore examples of how to readily incorporate interactivity into e-assessment tasks. The tools that will be used for the interactivity will be based predominantly on existing resources such as Excel spreadsheets with embedded macros, simulations based on Java applets and browser plugins (Flash, QuickTime). These educational resources will be linked via a URL but exist separately from the system that delivers the e-assessment questions so that the interactive tools can be used with any virtual learning environment (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai etc). This is the basis of the design principle behind the interactive e-assessment framework, to separate the interactive resource from the actual assessment system. Workshop participants will use an established Moodle website to explore and construct interactive e-assessment tasks using standard question types and interactive tools that enable students to manipulate data or objects to assist in the generation of their responses. Workshop participants can preview some examples at http://andy.services.adelaide.edu.au/moodle.

Crisp, Geoffrey. (2007) The e-Assessment Handbook, Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd