E-Learning Tools with Intelligent Assessment and Feedback for Mathematics Study

E-Learning Tools with Intelligent Assessment and Feedback for Mathematics Study

Christine Bescherer (University of Education Ludwigsburg, Germany), Daniel Herding (RWTH Aachen University, Germany), Ulrich Kortenkamp (University of Education Karlsruhe, Germany), Wolfgang Müller (University of Education Weingarten, Germany) and Marc Zimmermann (University of Education Ludwigsburg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-842-2.ch010
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Abstract

Mathematics students, often among large university classes of several hundreds of students, are easily daunted when solving math problems. Lacking individual feedback, they easily give up. To bolster learning, Computer-Aided Assessment may help students by giving them individual feedback about their progress. This article presents some general requirements for Intelligent Assessment using semi-automatic feedback in mathematics education with a special focus on solution processes. Intelligent Assessment implies the combination of human assessment along with electronic assessment via intelligent software for evaluating a student’s performance in a specific subject. Assessment tools are used to categorize solutions and detect errors as accurately as possible. Unusual and novel solutions and errors that the computer cannot categorize are forwarded to a tutor or teacher for assessment. Several examples demonstrate that semi-automatic and process-oriented Intelligent Assessment can help to improve learning and, ultimately, student self-confidence in mastering problems.
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Assessment And Feedback

Assessment usually has one of the two following purposes:

  • a.

    Judgment. In this type of assessment, usually denoted as ‘summative assessment’, the goal is to decide whether the learner has passed a course and with what grade. Such summative assessment typically occurs at the end of a semester or course and determines whether a student passes or fails. It is mostly an ‘assessment of learning’ and used to measure students’ understanding of a specific topic (Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006).

  • b.

    Development. Assessment in this context is denoted as ‘formative assessment’. Here, the teachers use the results of the assessment to analyze the students’ levels of understanding and thus adapt their teaching to the students’ needs. This is an ‘assessment for learning’, and the results are not used to grade students’ work (Ainsworth & Viegut, 2006).

This chapter deals with formative assessment, whereby students are evaluated individually and continuously to give both the teacher and the students the information necessary to adjust teaching and learning (Black et al., 2004). Such feedback plays a crucial role, because learning only happens if students understand their mistakes yet stay motivated to learn (Brown, 2004). The following focusses on mathematics assessment as well as discusses mathematics education and mathematics itself.

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