Diagnostic and Formative E-Assessment in Engineering on a Moodle-Based VLE

Diagnostic and Formative E-Assessment in Engineering on a Moodle-Based VLE

M. C. Mora-Aguilar (Universitat Jaume I, Spain) and J. L. Sancho-Brú (Universitat Jaume I, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-789-9.ch019
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Abstract

Electronic learning is nowadays a reality that has been possible due to the recent advances in technology. Different new Web tools have been developed to be directly applied to the teaching/learning process at all levels, especially in higher education. In fact, e-learning tools are the key elements for carrying out educational innovation when dealing with overcrowded groups of students. This e-tools applied to assessment are analyzed in this chapter. In particular, diagnostic and formative e-assessment implemented on a Moodle-based VLE environment has been introduced in different basic Mechanics subjects, with similar contents but taught in different engineering degrees, in diverse years or with various group sizes. The benefits and underlying problems of this introduction are described here. This has been made in order to compare results of different subjects and to extract general conclusions, which could be extrapolated to any other engineering disciplines.
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Background

To begin with, it will be useful to define some of the terms included in the broad vocabulary that has recently appeared related to e-learning, closely related to the application of the ICTs to the teaching-learning process.

Nowadays, the electronic learning or e-learning (Streng et al., 2008) is experiencing a rapid development. This term includes the teaching-learning strategies that use Web technologies via the Internet as main support. Typically, this type of training involves a physical distance between the transmitter and the receiver, that is, between lecturer and student.

The increase in distance learning courses that have appeared during the last few years is closely related to the popularization of the Internet. In fact, emerging trends in ICT are in line to use web technology to stimulate social relationships with tools such as social networks, wikis, or blogs. For that reason, the concept of social network, also known as Web 2.0 (O’Reilly, 2005), has arisen. Similarly, the term e-learning 2.0 refers to the use of these “social” Web technologies in the field of education.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Formative Assessment: It is the assessment that takes place during the learning activity and provides the instructor with information on how well the learning objectives of a given subject are being met.

LCMS: Acronym for Learning Content Management Systems, which is a specific platform or system developed for educational purposes, being its main objective the management of the learning content.

E-Assessment: Electronic assessment arises from the use of Web-specific tools for assessment. It can be used to assess theoretical knowledge (using e-testing software) as well as practical skills (using e-portfolios or simulation software).

E-Learning: Electronic learning includes the teaching-learning strategies that use Web technologies via the Internet as main support. Typically, this type of training involves a physical distance between the transmitter and the receiver, that is, between lecturer and student.

ICT: Information and communication technologies cover all advanced technologies in manipulating and communicating information. On the education community this term is preferred to the term Information Technology.

LMS: Acronym for Learning Management Systems, which is a specific platform or system developed for educational purposes, being its main objective the management of the learning process.

Moodle: Acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment. It is an open-source Virtual Learning Environment for producing Internet-based courses and web sites.

Diagnostic Assessment: It is the initial assessment that provides the instructor with information about students’ prior knowledge and misconceptions about any subject.

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