Keynote: Whither e-assessment in the mathematical sciences: a critical view from the edge
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, I was a mathematics undergraduate. I switched to physics and I am now a physics education researcher; my mathematics is distinctly rusty!
Somewhere along this pathway, I developed an interest in assessment, and in the early 2000s, I was the first person at the UK Open University to use sophisticated online computer-marked assessment in a mainstream module. Since then I have dabbled with STACK and Pattern Match (a question type that I’ll say a bit more about) and I have a PhD which investigated student engagement with computer-marked assessment and computer-generated feedback. But I’m not a technical expert. Although I still have a huge interest in assessment, I don’t really do it any more.
So, I sit at the edge of both mathematical sciences and e-assessment. I have watched developments over the past fifteen years, encouraged by improvements in question types, greater student confidence with technology, and the growth of the Assessment for Learning movement and the use of learning analytics. However, other aspects worry me: Does our (e-) assessment really improve the student experience? Has it met its full potential? Have we been beguiled by the technology?
This presentation will take the form of a personal but evidence-based review which, I hope, will encourage attendees – as we reach the end of the conference – to reflect on their own experience too.