Adaptive Assessments using Open Specifications

Adaptive Assessments using Open Specifications

Héctor Barbosa León (Technological Institute of Colima, Colima, Mexico), Francisco J. García-Peñalvo (Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Educación, University of Salamanca, Paseo de Canalejas, Salamanca, Spain), María José Rodriguez-Conde (Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Educación, University of Salamanca, Paseo de Canalejas, Salamanca, Spain), Erla M. Morales (Instituto Universitario de Ciencias de la Educación, University of Salamanca, Paseo de Canalejas, Salamanca, Spain) and Patricia Ordóñez de Pablos (Department of Business Administration, University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jdet.2012100105
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Evaluation is a key element in formal education processes; it must be constructed in a way that the item questions within help students understand by adapting them to the learning style as well. The focus of the present research work specifically in the convenience to adapt an associated multimedia material in each single question besides the traditional adaptation process based on the level of difficulty established for an item; all this in order to increase the final test score of the student. The proposed approach tries to solve this by designing and constructing an authoring tool to construct adaptive objective tests and an a prototype test to evaluate if a test that looks to adapt a multimedia content to the learning style could help to increase cited score of the student. The results are significant because it is able to conclude that adapted test based on the student´s learning style slightly increased the final score.
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1. Introduction

Nowadays, the process of reviewing and the subsequent evaluation of the academic knowledge acquired by students in the classroom is considered of vital importance in the teaching-learning process, because with these activities the teacher can obtain and compare the results of what the learner actually has learned, incorporating the new knowledge into the student´s learning baggage (Borrel, 1995).

There are several tools to evaluate the knowledge acquired by students. One of the most widely used are objective tests, which seeks to assess, on a uniform and standardized level the expected knowledge for a particular topic or subject. However, it is useful to consider some factors that affect the student at the time of an examination. Among them it may be considered the lack of knowledge when he/she are responding a test or the stress, which naturally occurs in some users and the impact reflected in the final scores of the students.

The classification of the tests, according to their purpose, defines three basic types: diagnostic, formative and summative. These assessments can be combined in the process of continuous assessment (Miller, Imrie, & Cox, 1998). The diagnostic type occurs before the course starts, and is useful to recognize the skills and current knowledge of the student, through performing a diagnostic examination for the purpose of locating the educational course and also to identify learning needs to adjust the course design.

The formative test (East, 2008) is an essential part of the learning process because it is a way to make a feedback loop to the student on progress within the course. The summative test is usually performed at the end of educational course. In an educational setting, is engaged in this type of tests to assign a rating to the student.

Another classification of tests is the objective and subjective test (Chester, 1974). The first is a form of questioning in which there may be questions with one correct answer or multiple choice question. On the other hand, subjective testing is a group of questions in which you may have more than one correct answer (or more than one way to express a correct answer). The objective type questions (also called items in the objective tests or multiple choice) include true/false, multiple choice, multiple response, matching responses. Subjective questions include extended response questions or essays. The objective type of question is the best used in the test included in the e-learning platforms, as they are the best suited to a computer or automate process of evaluation.

In this paper a new way to define and construct adaptive test using open specifications is introduced. Based on a previous research (Berlanga & Garcia, 2008), the proposal asks if a test with adaptation processes could be an added characteristic that improve the final score obtained by the students. As well as in adapted content in adapted hypermedia systems, that show information relevant to the user using methods and techniques to adapt the presentation, in an objective test it is possible to show relevant information to support a question, using, in this case the learning style defined for each student.

The main goal of this article is to present an authoring tool to define questions with multimedia content and complete tests incorporating two adaptation processes: one in the level of complexity of the question (set in the construction stage) and the other at runtime, based in the learning style identified for each student, by showing the correspondent multimedia file (audio or video).

The sections are presented going from the general to the specific description of concepts and activities performed to define an adaptive test, from this, a definition of a test is presented, followed by the description of the methods and techniques of adaptation, after that the definition of the Semantic Web will be introduced.

Then a section where the IMS QTI specification is introduced is showed, followed by the description of adaptive tests. In the next section the research proposal is described, presenting the process to define and construct and adaptive test using open specifications, followed by the description of an example of an adaptive test, finally the conclusions close the paper.

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