Computer based assessment with short free responses and tailored feedback

Jordan, Sally (2007). Computer based assessment with short free responses and tailored feedback. In: Proceedings of the Science Learning and Teaching Conference 2007, Higher Education Academy, ISBN 978-1-905788-2., 19-20 Jun 2007, Keele University.



This paper describes the development of interactive computer marked assignments, providing students with instantaneous, targeted and relatively detailed feedback. Most of the questions are not multiple choice, but wherever possible the feedback given to students is tailored to their response to the question. Students are allowed three attempts at each question, thus enabling them to learn from the feedback provided. Questions are currently being developed that require free-text answers of around a sentence in length. These questions are authored with the help of a sophisticated linguistically based authoring tool, and early student responses are used to refine the answer matching. Challenges of designing, authoring, refining and providing feedback on suitable questions are described, along with early student reaction and reflections on the opportunities provided by assessment of this type.

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