Digital self-testing for required previous knowledge

22 februari 2010 door ICTO TEAM
Dr. Maria Cuellar Soares (AS)

Students with different backgrounds may take part in the master's course Transport & Separation. Hence, the 'entrance level' may considerably differ among students. The project aims at providing both students and teaching staff with a tool to assess this level. In this way the students can detect topics that require more attention and the lecturers can adapt the lectures and exercises accordingly.

The project took place in the course ‘Transport & Separation’ (LM3751). Compulsory course within the Biochemical Engineering track of the MSc program Life Science & Technology, during the third period of the academic year 2010-2011. For this course it is the first time that a digital test is used. Maple T.A. linked to the course site in Blackboard.

The project led to a digital tool with the following features: The student can perform the test at any time (preferably before the first week of the course). As a result from the test the student gets (immediate) feedback (e.g. recommended literature/exercises for given topics). The lecturer obtains an analysis of the results.

Wat vindt u zelf een succesfactor in uw Grassroot?
I have learned the basic features of Maple T.A., which is a suitable platform for evaluating technical courses easily integrated to the Blackboard course site. This project introduced me to the possibilities (and challenges) of digital testing, as well as to the support (both ICT and didactics) available at the TU.

Wat kan nog worden verbeterd?
The current test was set as a ‘demo’ version. I want to revise its contents and the type of questions to ensure that the right knowledge and skills are being evaluated. I also want to extend the question repository, so that every year different questions can be used. Furthermore, we would like to develop a similar tool for students entering the Master program from abroad, so that they can test their previous knowledge and get familiar with our way of testing before arriving in Delft.

In hoeverre heeft ICT toegevoegde waarde gehad waarvoor u het ingezet heeft?
The test is easy to use and visually attractive. The students can work on it any time; it offers the possibility to pause/resume and gives immediate feedback. For the instructor, Maple T.A. generates a report with useful information next to the grade (e.g. duration of the test, number of attempts). 

Welke twee tips kunt u geven aan collega-docenten?
As with any test, the most difficult part is making the questions (i.e. testing what you want to test). For the translation to a digital platform make use of the support available at the TU, but do try a few things yourself… it’s relatively easy to learn.

Meer informatie:

Docent: Dr. Maria Cuellar Soares (AS); emailadres:
Jaargang: 2010-2011

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