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resaerch 2

International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’06
Assessment models in e-learning environments *
Daniela Dureva, Georgi Tuparov
Abstract: During the development of any e-learning course assessment is considered a very
important part as it measures the obtained knowledge, skills and competences. The assessment activities
such as testing, problem solving, collaborative or individual projects development, participation in
discussions etc These activities are to be modeled properly taking into account basic didactical properties of
an assessment unit. The assessment unit aggregates one or several assessment activities. Building
conceptual and physical models of assessment represents the focus of this paper. The relationships
between the proposed conceptual models and proper technological tools concerning the assessment
activities are discussed. Some possibilities to apply the assessment results into learner’s portfolio are
presented.
Key words: e-learning, assessment of knowledge, skills and competences,
INTRODUCTION
The assessment takes an important place during the development of any of elearning
course. It includes a variety of activities such as testing, problem solving,
collaborative or individual projects development, participation in discussions etc. The
object of assessment in the educational process is not only the knowledge. The
assessment area is enlarged toward the skills and competences. According to [2] the
competence is a mastering of knowledge and skills at level that is sufficient for their
application for doing of concrete work. This approach to use different assessment methods
should be applied in e-learning environments. The assessment methods are grounded on
relevant assessment activities e.g. test, individual or collaborative assignment, and
discussion. These activities could be aggregated in an assessment unit and they could be
used to measure student’s achievements and driving of learning path in concrete elearning
course, module, chapter, lesson etc..
The conceptual and physical models of an assessment unit are in the focus of this
paper. The paper is organized as follows: Section 1 deals with basic didactical properties
of assessment unit and assessment activities- learning objectives, criteria for success and
leaning styles. Conceptual models of assessment unit and assessment activities are
proposed in Section 2. Physical models of an assessment unit and activities are presented
in Section 3. The relationships between conceptual models and technological tools for
assessment activities are also considered. The possibilities for connections of the results
of assessment unit into learner’s portfolio are discussed.
BASIC DIDACTICAL PROPERTIES OF ASSESMENT ACTIVITIES
Learning objectives
The learning objective describes the level of knowledge, skills, competences and
other characteristics that any learner should achieve in the process of learning. Learning
objectives drive the whole educational process. They explore what content should be
included in the learning materials and at what level of the cognition of the learning material
should be mastered. The learning objectives have to be measurable. For the description of
learning objectives two basic domains, namely knowledge domain and cognitive domain
could be used. The knowledge domain describes the concepts, facts, procedure, and
appearance from concrete learned material. Usually the cognitive domain is described
according to some well known taxonomy. One popular and useful taxonomy is the Bloom’s
*This study is partially supported by National Scientific Fund at Ministry of Education and Science of Bulgaria, contract
N VU MI-111/2005
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International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’06
cognitive taxonomy, based on six cognitive levels- Knowledge, Comprehension,
Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The detailed approach for active using of
learning objectives in e-learning courses and environments we presented in [3]. For each
assessment unit could be assigned the matrix of learning objectives, which this unit
measures (Table 1)
Table 1. Example of learning objective matrix
Assessment
object
Cognitive
Level 1
Cognitive
Level 2
Cognitive
Level 3
Cognitive
Level 4
Cognitive
Level 5
Cognitive
Level 6
Concept 1
Concept 2
Fact 1
…….
Criteria for success
The criteria for success or so called “cut off level” could be described on the base of
expert evaluation. The experts define the minimal level of mastering for each learning
objective in percentages. The criteria for success could be described in a matrix of cut off
levels according to the expert evaluation and relevant statistical method for expert
evaluation.
Table 2. Example of a matrix of cut of levels.
Assessment
object
Cognitive
Level 1
Cognitive
Level 2
Cognitive
Level 3
Cognitive
Level 4
Cognitive
Level 5
Cognitive
Level 6
Concept 1 89% 80%
Concept 2 78% 75% 70% 65% 65%
Fact 1 88% 76% 71%
……. 91%
Learning styles
The learning style reflects the way of accepting and processing information. There
exist more than 70 theories for learning styles [1]. Being aware of student’s learning styles
is important for the design process of e-learning environments and for the processes of
design, development and implementation of concrete e-learning course. For example the
people with interpersonal style of learning need collaborative learning and assessment
activities. The people with intrapersonal learning style prefer personalized and individual
learning and assessment activities.
CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF ASSESSMENT UNIT IN E-LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
The conceptual model of assessment unit is based on the assessment methods
(Figure 1) that include the relevant assessment activities.
Input data for the conceptual model are learning objectives, criteria for success (Cut
off level) and learning styles. These tree properties are prerequisites for the choice and
implementation of the assessment activities.
In addition we define the following properties in the conceptual model of the
assessment unit:
• Structure, order and type of assessment activities.
• The intend of the activities and reflection of their results in the learner’s
portfolio:
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International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’06
o self-assessment;
o pre- assessment;
o formative assessment;
o evaluation and grading.
• The weight of the each assessment activity in the final grade.
• The grade scale.
• The time and duration of the each assessment activity, included in the
assessment unit.
Figure 1 Assessment activities.
Each of the activities, presented at Figure 1, has an own conceptual model. These
models share common properties- learning objectives, cut off level, and learning styles for
which they are suitable.
Specific properties for assessment activity “Test” are as follows:
• Type of the test- Criterion Referenced or Normative Referenced.
• Validity of the test.
• Adaptivity.
• Number, type and weight of the test items for each controlled learning
objective.
For the assessment activity “Individual assignment” additional properties are:
• Number of task (sub task) needed for implementation and decision of the
assignment.
• Weight (scores) for each task (sub task).
• Common number of scores for whole assignment.
Specific properties for the assessment activity “Collaborative assignment” are:
• Number of task (sub task) needed for implementation and decision of the
assignment.
• Weight (scores) for each task (sub task).
• Common number of scores for whole assignment.
• Schedule of the responsibility of each team member for implementation of the
assignment.
• Criteria for evaluation of individual achievements of each member of the team
• Criteria for evaluation of the achievements of the whole team.
• Possibilities for pear to pear assessment.
For the assessment activity “Discussion” the additional properties are:
Assessment methods
Individual
Collaborative
Test
Assignment/ problem solving/ project
Assignment/ problem solving/ project
Discussion
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International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’06
• Topic of discussion.
• Role of the teacher:
o Passive- the teacher observes and evaluates the student’s participation
in discussion;
o Active- the teacher turns of student’s attention with the assisted or
instigated questions.
• Type of discussion- “brain storming”, analysis of situation etc.
• Object for assessment- abilities for setting of questions, investigation of
optimal decisions, speed of answers etc.
PHYSICAL MODEL OF ASSESSMENT UNIT
A physical model of Assessment Unit (AU) is a deployment project of this unit within
concrete Learning Content management System (LCMS), e.g. with technological limits of
this system. Figure 2 presents relationships between elements of conceptual model and
possible assessment tools for deployment of assessment activities.
A physical model of the AU specifies deployment of the following assessment
activities – test, assignment (individual or collaborative) and discussion.
Deployment project for activity “Test” defines:
• Test generation (choice of test items):
o Manual;
o Automatic – with or without respect with didactical characteristics.
• Presentation of test items: radio buttons, drop-down menus, list menus, image
maps etc.
• Technology used for delivering of testing materials: on-line, off-line, hard copy
or export in different electronics formats.
• Multimedia elements in test items: graphical objects, video or audio clips etc.
• Storage organization of test items, tests and test results.
• Reusing of test items and tests already stored in LCMS storage or
development of new ones.
• Tools used for analyzing of test results: test items analysis, test analysis,
achievement analysis.
Figure 2. Relationships between elements of conceptual model and used LCMS
assessment tools for deployment of assessment activities.
Deployment project for activity “Individual assignment” defines:
• File exchange tools: ftp/http based, e-mail file attachment, ICQ file exchange.
Physical model of Control Unit
Possible assessment tools
Conceptual model of Assessment Unit
Test Individual
assignment
Collaborative
assignment Discussion
Synchronous
communication
Asynchronous
communication
Group
Test module ware File
exchange
Simulation
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International Conference on Computer Systems and Technologies - CompSysTech’06
• Simulation tools: integrated or not in LCMS.
• Asynchronous communication tools: e-mail, mail list, discussion forum.
• Synchronous communication tools: Chat, ICQ, audio or video conference;
Deployment project for activity “Collaborative assignment” defines:
• Groupware environment: integrated or not in LCMS.
• File exchange tools: ftp/http based, e-mail file attachment, ICQ file exchange.
• Simulation tools: integrated or not in LCMS.
• Asynchronous communication tools: e-mail, mail list, discussion forum.
• Synchronous communication tools: Chat, ICQ, audio or video conference.
Deployment project for activity “Discussion” defines:
• Asynchronous communication tools: e-mail, mail list, discussion forum.
• Synchronous communication tools: Chat, ICQ, audio or video conference.
CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
The assessment unit could be used not only for evaluation and grading. It could be
applied to drive the learner through the learning path into the course, module, chapter,
lesson etc. The results of the assessment activities such as description of achieved and
measured knowledge, skills and competence, developed projects etc are suitable to be
included in the learner’s portfolio and in this way the current learner’s status could be
defined. This status could be carried out also for moving of the student from one course to
another, from one LCMS to another.
Our future work will be directed to the compatibility of the proposed models of
assessment activities with the e-learning specifications of IMS Global Learning Consortium
[4].
REFERENCES
[1] Coffield F. at all., Should we be using learning styles? What research has to say
to practice, Learning and Skills Research Centre URL: www.LSRC.ac.uk
[2] Harvey, L., 2004, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,
http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/
[3] Tuparov G., D. Dureva, e-Learning- technologies and models, University Press
“Neofit Rilski”, Blagoevgrad, 2006 (in Bulgarian)
[4] URL http://www.imsglobal.org
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Assoc.Prof. Daniela Dureva, PhD, Department of Informatics, South-West University
“Neofit Rilski” Blagoevgrad, Phone: +359 73 8889 132, Е-mail: [email protected]
Assist. Prof Georgi Tuparov, PhD, Department of Informatics, South-West University
“Neofit Rilski” Blagoevgrad, Phone: +359 73 8889 132, Е-mail: [email protected]
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