Adaptable Personal E-Assessment

Adaptable Personal E-Assessment

Lilyana Nacheva-Skopalik (Technical University of Gabrovo, Gabrovo, Bulgaria) and Steve Green (Teesside University, Middlesbrough, United Kingdom)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2012100103
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This paper presents the concept of an adaptable personal learning environment (APLE) which meets the personal needs and requirements of the individual students. Such a system responds to the need of providing inclusive learning for a wider range of learners, which is an important agenda item for higher education institutions. For the complete design of an APLE it is necessary to integrate an adaptable personal assessment tool which is able to assess students’ performance, regardless of their specific learning needs and preferences, including those with disabilities.
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2. Adaptable Personal Learning Environment

The learning process is characterised by its content and media format and therefore we can also talk about adaptability from both a content and media point of view. In both cases it is necessary to apply intelligent approaches in order to achieve an adaptable tutoring system that is really effective in supporting students in their learning.

Accessibility and usability of a learning environment are extremely important aspects of the modern learning environments (Harper et al., 2005; Dodd et al., 2009; Nevile and Treviranus, 2006). Developing inclusive learning solutions is a complicated area of research and practical work. The Joint Information System Council in the UK (JISC) actively supports the work on learning environments which support a learner’s individual preferences and introduced the name Personal Learning Environment (PLE) for such systems. Within the Accessibility Research Centre (ARC) at Teesside University a number of researchers are working on elements of personalisation, integration, usability, accessibility and mobility of learning, which taken as a whole will contribute to a PLE (Green et al., 2006). Additional work is done on development of an environment in which content, tools and interfaces can be personalised and adapted to the needs or preferences of a variety of learners, including those with disabilities. This type of system is specified as an Adaptable Personal Learning Environment (APLE) (Green et al., 2008; Green et al., 2009). An APLE would potentially widen the group of learners, who can be catered for.

The basic structure of an APLE is presented below in Figure 1. The components and features of an APLE and in particular the accessibility service known as the TASS are discussed in detail in the next section. However here we can see that e-assessment is just one of a number of components which allow the learner to have a unique, personalized and accessible learning experience. However this is a vital component to any learning environment because without it neither the student nor the teacher can have any confidence in what knowledge or skills have been acquired; more precisely this is the extent to which individual learning goals have been met.

Figure 1.

An adaptable personal learning environment


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