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Computer Software for Supporting Assessment

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Short of ideas about how you can use technology to support assessment ? ... here are a few suggestions for useful packages and how you might use them....

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Question Mark

Question mark designer is a package to support the creation, delivery and marking of objective tests. A wide variety of question styles are supported: multiple choice; multiple response; ranking; fill in the blanks; word matching and hotspots. Colour, graphics, sound, video and a variety of fonts and layouts can all be included in questions or as feedback to the students. Student responses are saved to disk for later analysis, and a full range of reporting and analytical features are provided. Question Mark is available for PC and Mac and the World Wide Web. Site licences are available. A demo disk can be obtained from :
Question Mark Computing Ltd,
5th Floor, Hill House
Highgate Hill, London, N19 5NA,
Tel: 0171 263 7575
Or look at http://www.qmark.com/


Resource Builder + MediaLink

are both wonderful simple to use packages for PC and Mac respectively for creating simple multimedia packages. They are ideal for staff and/or students to build simple tutorial packages or assemble portfolios. Graphics, text, videos, and most other types of resource can be linked into a single package - by staff and/or students with just standard IT literacy skills. All this and affordable too!

Demos are available for both Resource Builder and Medialink or contact LTDI for purchase details.


Common Space

Common Space was written as a collaborative writing tool, specifically for an academic market. Text can be organised into any number of columns to facilitate two or more users annotating and comparing each others work. Documents can be updated with changes and all standard text processing tools are included. Additionally Common Space will support the inclusion of recorded comments and allows a tutor to build in a question set which can be especially useful to support students with the overall structure of a piece of work, but which has many other possible uses. Common Space is available in Mac and PC versions from:
Houghton Mifflin,
PO Box 269,
Abingdon,
Oxfordshire, OX14 4YN
Tel: 01235 833827


Decision Explorer

Constructing a concept map actively involves students with the subject matter, which in turn encourages deeper learning. Decision Explorer can be used in many ways e.g. to compare the students' and the tutor's maps; as a diagnostic tool; to brainstorm ideas for a project. Decision Explorer is available for PC from
Banxia Software Ltd,
141 St. James Road,
Glasgow, G4 0LT
Tel: 0141 552 3082
E-Mail: info@banxia.co.uk


Examine

Examine is another multiple choice authoring and delivery system for windows. It was developed under the Information Technology Training Initiative (ITTI), and is available, at very reasonable cost, from
Jean Burgan,
UCoSDA,
Ingram House,
65 Wilkinson Street,
Sheffield, S10 2GJ
Tel: 0114 222 4211
E-Mail J.burgan@sheffield.ac.uk or free from http://ibis.nott.ac.uk/software/


CourseWorks

CourseWorks is a simple easy to use concept mapping tool. Maps can be organised hierarchically and graphics, notes and hyperlinks added to each of the nodes. The software can act as a front-end to dynamic models and maps may be exported as either plain text or HTML for use in Web pages. The software is available from the CTI Biology Web site at:
http://www.liv.ac.uk/ctibiol/


Thesys

Thesys was developed with funding from the Department of Employment to provide an expert advisor for students writing major projects or assessing their own work. It doesn't claim to be able to replace an experienced and committed supervisor, but can be very useful, especially where staff have a large number of students to supervise.
Available from Prof. Richard Gentle
Tel: 0115 9486484
E-Mail : mec3gentlcr@ntu.ac.uk


E-mail

You don't need to use a specially designed package in order to get learning technology working to support your assessment strategy: E-mail might be one of your most useful tools. Use E-mail to remind students when assignments are due. Use E-mail to answer questions about the assignment and about the course as a whole. Encourage the students to answer each others questions. Ask your students to submit their assignments electronically -they will be automatically date and time stamped on submission. Store and transport the assignments on floppy. Encourage students to include multimedia elements in their submissions.


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Last modified: 07 December 1999 (formatting),
Last modified: 26 September 1997 (first web version),
First published: April 1997.