Just home from CAA 2011 (the International Computer Assisted Assessment Conference in Southampton). The attendance was quite low ( probably a victim of the current economic climate) but the conference was good, with some very thoughtful presentations and extremely useful conversations. I’ll post more in the coming days, but for the moment I’ll just reflect on John Dermo’s summary at the end of the conference. John had used wordle.net to create a word cloud from the papers. Amazingly the ‘biggest’ (i.e. most common) word in the cloud was was ‘student’, whilst ‘technology’ was tiny.
I did occasionally feel that some presenters were still seeing technology as a solution in need of a problem (and also seeing ‘evaluation’ as something that we do to convince others that what we’re doing is the sensible way forward – surely honest evaluation has to accept that our use of technology might not always be the best solution). However, the overall focus on students not technology was refreshing. Hurrah!