SAVEL – Electronic Assessment as an Instrument for Promoting Educational Success
Conference Proceedings - The Future of Education
A system of electronic evaluation, based on a digital platform, a database of educational resources, and a statistical processing unit, accessed via internet is presented and described. The development of this system was aimed at the creation of a testbed for evaluating the advantages of electronic evaluation in education, by its utilization as an instrument for formative, summative, and self educational assessment. To accomplish such flexibility, an incremental implementation strategy was adopted, based on the aggregation of separate building blocks as needed by each functionality. In a first phase, a tool for diagnosing mathematics and reading competences of primary school students (aged 7 to 9) was constructed. This tool included item presentation, mostly as closed questions, being supposed that students should know how to drag and drop, establish relations with the mouse, and mark multiple choice items, among other simple tasks. A further improvement included oral presentation of the stimuli to encompass students with reading difficulties. In a following phase, a module containing hints and explanations was added to extend the system capabilities in order to help students when necessary. This improvement, together with quick feedback and adequate help, provided a formative evaluation character to the system. A third upgrade consisted of allowing the aggregation of items to build tests. This feature enabled teachers to create an instrument capable of performing summative evaluations. On the other hand, as this system of educational assessment is available through the Internet to a high number of students, and since the utilization of it depends on a registration procedure – aimed at collecting adequate information – it permits a certain form of system assessment. An interesting number of education indicators can be calculated and make available to school principals and to local authorities. Finally, as each item is exposed to and resolved by a huge number of students, the data collected allows for the estimation of item parameters, namely, difficulty and discrimination characteristics, in the framework of Item Response Theory. Also, this information from statistical processing provides the assessment of item adequacy with respect to a corresponding curriculum. The advantages of electronic evaluation systems include quick and accurate feedback about student performance (delivered to teachers, principals, students and/or parents), identification of unconsolidated subjects, therefore deserving further study (with the corresponding suggestion of new sets of items), utilization of interactive and appealing stimuli (taking advantage of the media sophistication), flexibility in terms of time and location for test administration, improvement of item quality by the incorporation of student and teacher feedback, and finally, the creation of adaptive tests in order to better assess teaching and learning.
electronic assessment, student assessment