Online assessment: supported learning or “just do it”?

Dobbyn, Chris and Chetwynd, Frances (2013). Online assessment: supported learning or “just do it”? In: SRHE Annual Research Conference 2013, 11-13 Dec 2013, Newport, Wales, UK.


In this paper we address moves to online assessment using interactive computer marked assignments (iCMAs). At the Open University, these tests offer the student 3 tries at each question with increasing amounts of feedback, and also multiple attempts at each assignment are allowed. The research (HEA funded) aims to investigate students’ motivations towards and views on the tests, and their patterns of engagement with them. Focus group data on a small sample, survey data on a larger sample and VLE statistical data across the whole cohort (2500 students) were all acquired. A bare majority of respondents were using the iCMAs to review learning, but engagement with feedback was less certain. Most students did not attempt to increase their score after the first attempt. Whilst completing iCMAs was found to be fun, this did not adequately replace tutor feedback and interaction.

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