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Increasing student assessment flexibility using WebCT and computer assisted assessment technologies

Salim Siddiqui and Mario Zadnik
Department of Applied Physics, Curtin University of Technology
Physics 113/114/115 are first year units offered by the Department of Applied Physics to a wide range of students in various disciplines, such as Applied Chemistry, Applied Geology, Biological Science, Cartography, Engineering and Science Enabling Course, Food Science and Technology, Health and Safety, Health Science, Medical Imaging Science, Mine and Engineering Surveying, etc. A survey conducted in October 2000 and further feedback from students revealed many issues, which students believed were directly or indirectly affecting their academic performance. As a result of these concerns, the units have been substantially restructured into a modular format in order to increase students' choice of units, reduce student workload and change the lecture time from evening to morning and afternoon to suit students' needs.

The survey also revealed that 58% of the full time students work either part time or full time and therefore are time disadvantaged as compared to their full time non-working colleagues. In response to these concerns the units have been redesigned to include flexible assessment by replacing two one-hour tests with (3 or 6) 45 minutes module tests. Each test is available to students in the Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Lab from 8 am to 5 pm over a period of one week, following the completion of lectures in each module. The supervised environment of the CAA Lab provides a secure environment for testing while giving students greater time flexibility.

This paper will discuss the implementation and outcomes of the project. The project was funded by the Curtin University of Technology under the Learning Effectiveness Alliance Program (LEAP).

Please cite as: Siddiqui, S. and Zadnik, M. (2003). Increasing student assessment flexibility using WebCT and computer assisted assessment technologies. In Partners in Learning. Proceedings of the 12th Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 11-12 February 2003. Perth: Edith Cowan University. http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/siddiqui-abs.html

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Last revision: 16 Jan 2003. This URL: http://lsn.curtin.edu.au/tlf/tlf2003/abstracts/siddiqui-abs.html