د/ايمان زغلول قاسم

استاذ تكنولوجيا التعليم المساعد بكلية التربية بالزلفي

book P2

Chapter 2
24
2.1. Introduction
With the introduction of technology in the classroom, educators have been given a
larger number of technological tools to enhance student learning. One of these innovations is
computer-based assessment (CBA), a form of assessment in which students answer items in a
computer environment instead of taking a traditional paper-and-pencil test. The literature
suggests that CBA can have pedagogical advantages because it is possible to provide students
with feedback while they are taking the test. This implies that assessment should be integrated
into the learning process, which is an important aspect of the assessment for learning
approach (for more information, see Stobart, 2008). When it comes to assessment for
learning, feedback ―is seen as the key to moving learning forward‖ (Stobart, 2008, p. 144).
The fact that feedback can be provided to students in a timely fashion—while they are
taking the test—might lead to better learning outcomes. This is because in a computer-based
environment, the discrepancies between students‘ current state and the intended learning
outcomes can immediately be solved (Hattie & Timperley, 2007), in contrast to a traditional
environment. A big advantage of CBA is the possibility of providing the test taker with
customised feedback, given that the computer can generate feedback based on the answer
given by the student (Lopez, 2009). This feedback may simply indicate the correct answer for
an item or may be more elaborate and provide information concerning the content to which
the item refers. Currently available research does not provide univocal evidence regarding
how to integrate feedback into a computer-based assessment in such a way that contributes
positively to the learning process and to the learning outcomes of students. This study
investigated the effects, on students‘ learning outcomes, of different methods for providing
written feedback in a computer-based assessment for learning. Additionally, it explored the
attitudes of students towards different methods of providing feedback as well as students‘
feedback-reading behaviour in terms of time spent reading feedback.
2.1.1 Computer-based Assessment for Learning
Assessment for learning is an approach to classroom assessment in which it is
integrated into the learning process (Stobart, 2008). The main aim of assessment for learning
is to support the learning process. This is in contrary to the conception that assessments
should be used only for summative purposes, a notion some claim leads to teaching to the test
(Birenbaum et al., 2006). The assessment for learning approach includes more than a way to
use assessments and their results, for example involving students actively in their own
learning, adapting teaching in response to assessment results, conducing self and peer
assessments and providing students with feedback (for more information, see Assessment
Reform Group, 1999; Stobart, 2008). In this research, the focus is on feedback provided to
individual students taking part in a computer-based assessment for learning. Feedback is a
crucial aspect of assessment for learning because it helps students to gain insight into their
present position in the learning process and provides them with information on how to get
from their current position to their desired position (Stobart, 2008). In other words, by
receiving feedback, the student can adapt his or her learning in order to achieve the desired
learning outcomes. However, various studies (Hattie & Timperley, 2007; Shute, 2008,

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