Computer Assisted Assessment in Education

The use of computers to aid in testing has been continuing to develop into a dynamic tool for student assessment. Computer assisted assessment is the process of utilizing computing technologies for assessing student work. The assessment can be utilized throughout a course for assessing and providing feedback of teacher lesson plans or in a summative manner such as providing a computer based assessment of all the cumulative work in a final exam format.

Computer assisted assessment is an opportunity to provide a timely response to student progress. Significant benefits exist with the scope of questions, test hints and adjoining skills guides that can help a student's overall study skills and comprehension of the curriculum.

Roadblocks and Benefits for Implementing Computer Assisted Assessments

Computer assisted assessment can be very costly to implement. The computing hardware is just one element and includes everything from the actual computer to the servers and printers that are also associated with the process. The networking involved and ongoing maintenance can also be a difficult hurdle for constrained teacher resources. Correlating the testing material with lesson plans can be expensive to customize. Using a standardized software package can also be far too generic and would ultimately not add the level of value to be effective.

There are also many elements of the computer assisted assessments that can actually save time and even money. Assessment software is available that will provide direct feedback to students regarding study skills and curriculum topics that need further development before being considered as complete. Often an additional options are available that provide teacher worksheets that align with student worksheets. This can help to drive overall consistency with the lesson plans.

These elements can greatly improve the engagement and success of a student who often does not realize the insufficiency of their skills until a cumulative exam is completed and potentially failed. A teacher would have to dedicate an extraordinary amount of time and effort to do this on an individual basis and would like require the assistance of additional classroom staff to assist with managing multiple incremental tests.

The Learning Drawbacks and Benefits of Computer Assisted Assessments

Computer assisted assessment is often largely associated with knowledge related skills instead of the overall conceptualization of topics. It can also be difficult to have an objective set of questions that effectively represent the information within the teaching curriculum. One of the major benefits provided by computer assisted assessments is the ability to individually target student skill sets with a minimal time investment. This allows for more time to be spent teaching and learning and far less time spent in the assessment process for both teachers and students.

The initial implementation of computer assisted assessments can be met with some serious upfront costs. However, continued development of computer assisted assessment techniques are beginning to lower some costs, such as programs that are web based rather than static software that requires customization. The benefits of computer assisted assessments continue to expand within education and will likely only continue to grow as technology improves to become more accessible for students and teachers.

More Information On Computer Assisted Assessment

  1. Assessment Systems Corporation- A leader in the industry.
  2. Computer Assisted Assessment (CAA) Conference