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Parallel Session Abstracts

Human Resource Issue of Implementing Technology in Learning and Assessment

Kate Morss and Kathy Buckner, Centre for Learning and Teaching, Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh

This workshop will focus primarily on the human resource issues of implementing technology in learning and assessment. A recent survey of academic staff at Queen Margaret has identified the most important factors which aid or obstruct implementation, and although some are materials-related, others relate much more directly to staff and the ways in which they work.

Participants will be asked to identify successful and unsuccessful implementations in their own institution, and these will be used as a platform for discussion of human resource issues and solutions.

The WWW as a Tool for Assessment

Colin Milligan, TALiSMAN project, Heriot-Watt University

The WWW is a convenient and efficient medium for the delivery of teaching material and course administration. To exploit the opportunities offered by the WWW for education, we must begin to see it as a medium for a fully integrated learning environment, incorporating materials delivery, communication, discussion, testing, formal assessment and administration. Up until now, assessment carried out on the WWW has centred on informal MCQ type testing but other systems and strategies are being developed.

This session will include a simple review of the current use of the web for assessment, along with an examination of its future potential and factors affecting its eventual adoption. This review will be complemented by group discussions on individual issues of relevance. A WWW page providing examples and pointers will be made available after the workshop.

Building and Implementing the Clyde Virtual University Assessment Engine

David McNicol, Niall Sclater, Dave Whittington, The Strathclyde University in Glasgow

The Assessment Engine is a core feature of Clyde Virtual University, a project funded by SHEFC to develop and promote internet-based teaching in the West of Scotland. Built in 1995 to deliver assessments to students via the Web, the Engine has recently been reprogrammed in Java. It is being used for formative and summative assessments as well as evaluation forms and questionnaires. The recently developed test and evaluation wizards allow staff with no prior knowledge of the system to develop interactive Web-based forms rapidly and deliver them in a paperless environment to large numbers of students. Feedback to lecturers can be obtained by email or by the online reporting and results analysis facility currently being developed.

During this session the presenters describe the Assessment Engine (Beta version now freely available to all Scottish HE Institutions), how it links in with the registration system and how the monitoring system allows tutors to view and analyse results. We look at how the system is being used in real courses and invite participants to compare the CVU system with other online assessment packages.

Setting Effective Objective Tests

Sue Heard, Dept. of Geography, University of Aberdeen

Objective tests enable a wider range of course material to be covered than traditional essay-style examinations, and the burden of marking is greatly reduced. However to be an effective and fair measure of student learning, tests must be carefully constructed taking account of course coverage, levels of learning and the difficulty of questions. This session is used to present the stages used in test construction and show the results of last year's objective examinations in the Department of Geography at the University of Aberdeen.

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Last modified: 30 November 1999 (formatting).
Orignal text: January 1998.