Testing Times for Higher Education

Ben Johnson Ltd has been canvassing universities across the North of England to find out how they assess their students throughout the academic year.

No matter what they call it, ‘Summative Assessment’, ‘Dynamic Testing’ or ‘On-going Evaluation’, every university seems to have the same issue. Marking!

We have seen a couple of common routes around this. Some use Optical Mark Recognition software to create multiple choice questionnaires, others use an online Virtual Learning Environment. Both of which mean that the marking is done digitally and frees the lecturers time. Unfortunately both are limited in their own way. A multiple choice questionnaire restricts the way educators can test knowledge and there is always the risk of guesswork distorting figures. Online testing is all well and good if you have the resources available to execute it. However if you have hundreds of students who need to sit an exam then this is often unrealistic.

Through an in-depth consultation period we have not only addressed the issues outlined above but gone even further to improve the student experience.

We have created a solution that still allows teachers and lecturers to create their own exam papers, but one that isn’t restricted to just multiple choice questions. Our system allows for written and numerical answers, the marking up of a graph, equations etc. This increases flexibility and precision. These are then marked automatically and uploaded to a database of the university’s choice where reports can be created to find gaps in learning amongst other things.

There is nothing else like this on the market that we are aware of. The interest it has generated proves that. It has already been installed in one university and we are in discussions with several others.

If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch at richard.fishburn@benjohnson.co.uk

    Posted in Technology - 15th August, 2012





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