Category Archives: Uncategorized

Learning outcomes – love them or hate them?

I went to an excellent meeting yesterday, the next step in bringing ‘joined-up thinking’ to assessment in modules in our Physics and Astronomy and Planetary Sciences pathways. There are issues, not least that some of the modules are also used … Continue reading

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Multiple choice vs short answer questions

I’m indebted to Silvester Draaijer for leading me towards an interesting article: Funk, S.C. & Dickson, K.L (2011) Multiple-choice and short-answer exam performance in a college classroom. Teaching of Psychology, 38 (4), 273-277. The authors used exactly the same questions in  … Continue reading

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Use of capital letters and full stops

For the paper described in the previous post, I ended up deleting a section which described an investigation into whether student use of capital letters and full stops could be used as a proxy  for writing in sentences and paragraphs. We … Continue reading

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Student misunderstandings

The second external meeting I attended last week, this time at the University of Warwick, was a meeting of the Institute of Physics Higher Education Group entitled ‘Conceptual understanding : beyond diagnostic testing’. The messages that I’ve come home with … Continue reading

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More on simple arithmetic skills that people don’t always understand as well as they think they do, leading to difficulties at a later stage. In the OU Science Faculty we use the mnemonic BEDMAS (others use BODMAS or BIDMAS) to … Continue reading

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Happy birthday blog!

It seems hard to believe that I’ve been blogging on assessment, especially e-assessment, and especially the impact of e-assessment on students, for a year now. Even more amazing is the fact that there is still so much I want to … Continue reading

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Fair or equal?

This post returns to ideas from Gipps and Murphy’s book ‘A fair test?’. We use words like ‘equality’, ‘equity’ and ‘equal opportunities’ frequently, in the context of assessment and elsewhere. Gipps and Murphy deliberately talk about ‘equity’ not ‘equal opportunities’ … Continue reading

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How long is short?

I’ve been looking at student responses to our short-answer free-text questions. I’ll start by considering something simple; how long are the responses?

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Feedback, feedforward or feedaround?

This is another of those ideas that others probably thought of years ago, but I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake. In summary, findings about the effectiveness or otherwise of feedback probably depend on what the feedback is meant … Continue reading

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Partial credit for correct at second or third attempt

One of the features of OpenMark, the OU’s e-assessment system, is the fact that students are allowed several (usually three) attempts at each question, and receive hints which increase in detail after each unsuccessful attempt. This is the case even … Continue reading

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