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Assessment processes

In learning and teaching assessment is very necessary. With an emphasis on the learning process there are many new assessment approaches, along with the learning product. Globally authentic assessment based on performance is emphasized. Comprehensive and continuous evaluation of learning and teaching is emphasized in India too. Numerous possibilities for providing feedback and assessing are thrown open by development in ICT.

Process of gathering, interpreting and identifying information is assessment. Wide variety of tools or methods are referred by assessment which educators use to document, measure and evaluate the process of learning and teaching.

Assessment is the collection of information about learning and teaching systematically, in order to inform decision about how to improve it, using resources available, expertise, knowledge and time.

To set the direction for ongoing learning and teaching and to provide information on student progress and achievement is the central purpose of assessment. The assessment purpose is to engage collectively a campus community in a continuing and systematic process to enhance learning and to create shared learning goals.

To improve teachers teaching and students learning is the primary purpose of assessment.

Assessment Types

Based on the purpose for which it is designed assessment can be classified into various approaches or types as follows:

1. Formative: While learning is occurring and while learning is taking place, formative assessment provides information and feedback during the instructional process.

2. Summative: Summative assessment provides feedback and information that sums up the learning and teaching process and takes place after learning has been completed.

3. Diagnostic: Diagnostic assessment helps you to clarify misconceptions, identify your student's capabilities, skill sets and current knowledge of a subject before teaching takes place. To better plan how to teach and what to teach, knowing weakness and strengths of students can be very helpful.

Figure 7.1. Types of Assessment

4. Authentic: Authentic assessment is the term which describes multiple assessment forms which reflect students attitudes, motivation, achievement and learning on instructionally relevant classroom activities. Instead of selecting from predetermined options it requires students to develop responses or emphasizes on what they know, rather than what students do not know. A rubric by which students performance on the task will be evaluated and a task for them to perform is usually included in authentic assessment.

5. Performance:  In performance assessment by producing or performing something students is required to demonstrate that they have mastered specific competencies and skills.

Technology role in assessment

In efficient and effective assessment of learning, technology plays a vital role. A variety of new tools is offered to educators by modern technology which can be used in the class room. Teachers with the help of technology assess their students' performance as well as their learning in the class room. To facilitate communication between teachers and students, technology can be used. Digital records of student's development and growth can be created by it.

To make their work more productive and to assess their teaching, technology can be used by teachers. To track their teaching plans and also to track students work, spreadsheet can be used by teachers. This kind of record keeping can help them to identify the areas that the teachers need to focus on in their teaching if a group of students is poorly performing in a particular subject.  

Assessment with computer: Use of computers to assess performance and learning of student is computer assisted assessment. It is a term that covers all forms of assessments delivered with the help of computers whether formative or summative. This covers both assessments that are marked with the help of computers such as those using Optical Mark Reading (OMR) and assessments which are delivered on computer, either offline or online.

CAA is typically formative which timely provide feedback on how to teach a subject best and helps students to discover whether they have learned what the teacher intended. IT can also be summative serving to categorize and grade the students work and with limited feedback typically being given at the end of the course. CAA can be also diagnostic by testing for example for pre-knowledge.

Advantages of CAA

• CAA offers high reliability as being the testing that can be marked objectively.

• CAA is adapted to meet a wide range of learning outcomes and the tests can be marked easily and quickly.

• Rather than conceptual understanding it is usually associated with testing knowledge skills, due to the frequent use of MCQ formatting which is believed to test at a lower level of understanding.

• Initially it is time consuming as making good objective tests requires practice and skill.

• To avoid failure during examinations software and hardware must be carefully monitored.

• In Web based computer assisted assessment security issues can be a problem;

• Students require experience of the assessment type and adequate IT skills.

Online Assessment

Online assessment is the process used to measure certain aspects of information for a set purpose where the assessment is delivered via a computer connected to a network.  The assessment most often is some type of educational test. It is possible to conduct and design assessment online easily with the development in software as service and the emergence of read write web. For developing and designing online quizzes and test there are many online service providers both paid and free.

ICT based assessment

Some of the main findings are:

 For summative assessment of creative and critical thinking about complex relationships computer based concept mapping with automated scoring can be used.

 The ICT use can help teachers by providing feedback to students and taking over some of the role of assessing and by recording and storing information about how students are developing understanding of new material so that teachers can focus on other aspects of supporting learning.

 During the use of test material feedback from the computer improves student performance in later use of the same test material.

 Several studies showed that interacting with a computer provides feedback that supports better performance even if this only reflects back to the students the moves and links they made in a visual representation of relationships.

The following findings should be treated more cautiously as it provides medium weight evidence.

 Compared to conventional test using technology probed students\' understanding to a greater degree.

 Relevant to problem-solving performance additional information is provided by the automated scoring and collection of the processes used in problem solving.

 As compared to students taking tests on paper, using a computer program  to both give feedback to students and take the same test can increase the level of performance.

 Useful information about students causal reasoning thinking through analysis of their diagrams is provided by the use of computer program involving diagrammatic representation, but not from the log files of their computer moves.

 To provide information about processes in reaching a solution computers were used that gives additional feedback to teachers and students.

 Computer based test performance can be influenced by student's attitude towards computers and experience with them.

 Compared with the analysis of multimedia presentations a conventional multiple choice test gave a false impression of understanding on the same topic.

 The outcome for girls more than boys was affected by Subject matter used in computer assessment of problem solving.

 The performance of middle-school students was not improved by training in the use of computer graphics aimed at helping them make meaning of new material.

 There was conflicting evidence from two studies relating to the impact on performance of using the web to search for information.

Computer assessment tests

There are many advantages of using digital technology to test, administer, distribute and develop quizzes. Few major advantages are:

1. Easy: You can create and distribute a test to learners through email as a link, using online test maker. Such software will automatically provide you with reports of the results and grade the tests. Compare that to how time and energy intensive the evaluation process usually is.

2. Flexible: A wide variety of skills and knowledge can be evaluated using computer assessment. Just true or false and multiple choice questions is not the limit. Including essay questions you can write almost any kind of question you imagine. Audio, video and other media types can be incorporated into your test.

3. Learning tool: To check students learning, assessment is mainly used.   But if the assessments are of good quality they can be used as learning tools. This opportunity is not there with paper and pencil tests because the time is required between the students test and teachers feedback. However, with computer assessment test the software provides instant feedback and also grades the test instantly for students to know their mistakes.

4. Teaches to use digital tools: It is necessary that students should be able to use digital tools. Online assessment can help students to develop skills that will lead to their future success.

Simple three step process to use a computer assessment test:

1. Creating a test: There are many very low cost or free online test makers available. Using this online software we can create test in very less time as compared to the paper and pencil test which takes time to write test and make its copies.

2. Online distributing the test: After creating test we can distribute it to students by giving them online link. Students then can appear for the test using smartphone, laptop, computer or tablet.

3. Student's progress Tracking: The online test making software will take care of everything including grading, unless you include subjective questions such as essays. The software will provide feedback and instruction when necessary and will also generate reports for tracking student's progress.

Computer assessment test are powerful and simple tool which can improve evaluation process of student by preventing cheating in the classroom.

Computer based assessment

The computer based assessment can be defined as the use of digital tools for assessment related activity. It is a digital tool as using it we can conduct and create assessment using tablets, smart phones and laptops. Any type of testing can be considered as computer based assessment that involves the use of these technologies.   

Computer based assessment types

The most common types of computer based assessment are:

• Assessments embedded within e-learning modules. This type is most similar to the original computer based training. Here, online assessments are embedded within larger e-learning modules so that all of students' learning activities take place on the computer. For example, a student might watch a video that has comprehension questions contained within it. Or, a student may complete a full e-learning module that culminates in a final test.

• Standalone online assessments. This type is relatively new, and it is being used in all kinds of learning environments, including in-person courses. Here, an instructor uses an online assessment creator to develop quizzes and tests, which students then take using an online platform. Online assessments have many possible applications, from traditional chapter quizzes to final exams. They can also be used to boost student engagement and measure retention on an ongoing basis. For example, an educator could start every class with a short quiz that students take on their smartphones.

Using computer based assessment tools

Finally, a key element of our computer based assessment definition is what can be done with these tools. In the early days, the types of questions that could be handled by digital tools were limited to simple forced-choice items like multiple choice and true or false. Fortunately, this is no longer the case, as computer based assessment tools can now be used for even complex items like essay questions and concept maps.

So, what does all of this add up to? Our original computer based assessment definition, “the use of digital tools for assessment-related activity,” turns out to be pretty accurate. Hopefully, you now have a better idea of the range of digital tools and assessment-related activity that computer based assessment encompasses.

Computer based assessment is, in essence, the practice of giving quizzes and tests on the computer instead of using pencil and paper. Computer based assessment is already used widely in many different environments. For example, the last time you took a written driver's test you probably used a computer terminal. This type of testing is also being used in schools, starting as early as third grade, often to deliver standardized tests, as well as in colleges and universities and in employee training programs.

Computer based assessment is a broad term that can encompass several different types of testing tools and technologies. One of the most common is online assessment, in which an instructor uses online assessment creation software to develop a test. Then, the instructor provides a link to the students, who take the test online. The online assessment creator automatically takes care of all of the administrative tasks-tracking who has completed the test, collecting data such as how long students spend on each question, and even grading the assessment and providing feedback to the students.

Advantages of computer based assessment

Overall, educators have discovered significant benefits to using computer based assessment. Here are the main advantages, as well as a few disadvantages, of using this technology.

• Efficiency. It takes less time for teachers to prepare, distribute, and grade online tests than paper tests, and it is easily scalable for 20 students or 2,000.

• Convenience. Students can take the assessment when and where it is most convenient for them, rather than having to take it at a designated time.

• Automatic scoring with feedback. The computer can automatically score the assessment and provide students with immediate feedback about their answers.

• Analytics and reports. The testing software collects a large amount of data that can help teachers identify who is having trouble and also improve their assessments over time.

• Accessibility. Online text can be magnified or read aloud to assist students with disabilities.

• Cheating controls. Online assessment creators have a variety of features that prevent cheating.

• Less human error. Computer based assessment removes a significant amount of human error, such as grading errors.

• Re-usability. Tests and even individual questions can be reused easily on other assessments.

Computer based assessment is a powerful idea that is driving huge advances in classrooms. As time goes on, the advantages will become even greater.

Online Questionnaire

An online questionnaire is a web-based survey that companies and other organizations can use to both deliver information to and collect information from their customers or another target audience (stakeholders, employees, potential customers—the list is endless).

Online questionnaires can take many forms and be used for many purposes. For example, many companies use online questionnaires to get consumer feedback about advertising campaigns before releasing them on a large scale. They may also use online questionnaires to obtain information about their audience demographics, customer preferences, and opinions about their products. Some even create online questions simply for fun, as a type of content marketing aimed at increasing audience engagement.

Online questionnaires are usually created with web-based survey authoring tools connected to a database. These technologies automate all of the administrative tasks associated with the questionnaires, including creation, distribution, data collection, and even analysis and reporting.

Benefits of using online questionnaires:

• They are easy to create. Using an online questionnaire creator, you can design and develop an unlimited number of surveys quickly and easily. You can also save your questions so it's easy to reuse them later.

• They are inexpensive. Most online questionnaire creators are free or low-cost to use, which is not the case with most market research software packages.

• They are easy to distribute to a large number of people. With online questionnaires, the size of your respondent pool is limited only by your own needs and preferences. It is just as easy to distribute a survey to 100,000 people as it is to distribute it to only 10, so you can sample a broad audience at little to no additional cost.

• They can support a variety of question types. Online surveys can support any type of question, including multiple choice, checkbox, pull-down and pop-up menus, rating scales, matching, short answer—well, you get the idea. This is much more difficult to accomplish in a traditional pencil-and-paper format.

• They can provide companies with a large amount of data and insight. Since online questionnaire creators both store and tabulate the response data automatically, companies can use this information to gain valuable insight into their customers.

• They reduce the possibility of human error. Since the software does everything automatically, there is very little room for human bias or error to enter into the process.

One challenge with online questionnaires is getting people to actually fill them out. Response rates are typically pretty low, which is something you need to keep in mind - if you want 100 responses, you should send your questionnaire to a few hundred people at least.

Below are a few ways you can increase the response rate for your online questionnaire:

• Target your audience carefully. You will likely get better results from sending your questionnaire to a list of current customers than to a list of people who don't know much about your company.

• Provide incentives. If you require a certain number of responses, you can greatly boost participation by providing incentives, for example, loyalty points, a small store credit, or an entry into a prize drawing.

• Keep it short and sweet. People are busy. Don't ask too many questions, and make sure that the questions you do ask are interesting and relevant.

Online questionnaires are great tools for learning about your audience.

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