Web-Based Assessment in Student Learning

Web-Based Assessment in Student Learning

Alessandro Cucchiarelli (University of Ancona, Italy), Maurizo Panti (University of Ancona, Italy) and Salvatore Valenti (University of Ancona, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-60-5.ch011
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Abstract

Assessment is considered the central part of the educational process. At least five categories exist in which it is possible to classify the evaluation procedures which are singled-out by the common name of assessment: placement, formative, diagnostic and summative assessment (Airasian,1975; Gronlund,1985) and self-assessment. Placement assessment is concerned with the identification of students’ entry level for class enrollment and selection. Therefore, placement assessment is aimed at determining both prerequisite skills and mastery of course contents/objectives. Formative assessment is used to provide ongoing monitoring of student progress which may be used by the teacher to gather feedback in order to adjust the educational process, to insure that learning is occurring and to correct learning errors. Formative evaluation is an integral part of everyday instruction (King and Rowe,1997). Diagnostic assessment begins where formative assessment leaves off. Diagnostic evaluation is concerned with “the identification of persistent or recurring learning difficulties that are left unresolved by the standard correction perspective of formative evaluation” (Gronlund,1985). Diagnostic evaluation may be conducted through two classes of tests: extensive and intensive. While intensive diagnostic tests focus on just one aspect of learning, extensive tests cover a broader range of contents and are characterized by a graded sampling of the concepts and knowledge to be assessed. Broad areas of difficulty may be identified and the points where a student’s understanding falters may be indicated, if the grading of the questions is sensitive. Summative evaluation comes at the end of units or courses and aims to assign grades to certify the students’ global level of knowledge on the topics taught. An important side effect of summative evaluation is the production of useful information on the course such as clarity of lectures, completeness and integration of the proposed concepts and arguments in order to provide the teacher with feedback.

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