Exploring design features to enhance computer-based assessment: learners’ views on using a confidence indicator tool and computer-based feedback

Nix, Ingrid and Wyllie, Ali (2011). Exploring design features to enhance computer-based assessment: learners’ views on using a confidence indicator tool and computer-based feedback. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(1) pp. 101–112.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8535.2009.00992.x

Abstract

Many institutions encourage formative computer-based assessment (CBA), yet competing priorities mean that learners are necessarily selective about what they engage in. So how can we motivate them to engage? Can we facilitate learners to take more control of shaping their learning experience? To explore this, the Learning with Interactive Assessment (LINA) project, a small-scale study, trialed a selection of online, interactive question features designed to increase motivation, particularly of work-based learners, and to enhance learners' ability to self-regulate their own learning experience. We present initial findings on learner perceptions of: (1) a confidence indicator tool—for learners to indicate their confidence that their answer will be correct before answering a question; (2) a learning log—for learners to insert reflections or view system-recorded information about their learning pathway; and (3) question feedback—for displaying a range of author comments. Themes emerged relating to motivational, behavioural and cognitive factors, including risk taking and skills in self-assessment. A serendipitous finding highlights learners' frequently not reading onscreen feedback and presents perceptions on when feedback becomes most useful. Motivators and barriers to engagement and self-regulation are discussed in relation to principles of best feedback practice.

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