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WebCT assessments: Every little helps?

Steven, Grahame


Grahame Steven


I use the assessment feature in WebCT to deliver two objective tests to students taking Management Accounting (ACC07101). While the tests are essentially formative, I have offered an inducement to encourage students to do the tests. Students can earn an extra 5% on top of their coursework mark (50% of the assessment weighting) if they obtain 80+% in each objective test. The tests can be accessed as many times as the students wish, anywhere and anytime - all they need is access to the internet. While the same types of questions are asked each time they attempt a test, the numbers are different each time they attempt a question since I have used "variables" questions. Students are given feed back at the end of the quiz: overall mark, right answer, their answer, a brief note on how to undertake a calculation - NB the question is also displayed. Students are shown how to access the objective tests in classes and, to date, there does not appear to have been problems accessing the test from inside and outside the university. It is also easy to administer the "extra 5%" since WebCT keeps a detailed record for each student. The objective tests also lay the foundations for some key calculations that students may undertake in the end of module exam.
Why did I do it? - Engage students - Encourage students to take responsibility for their learning - Practice key skills: calculate variances, CVP analysis - Provide feedback to students - Monitor performance Uptake has been improving each year. Last year, 88% of students obtained extra marks. Students also use the tests when they are revising for the exam.
Students who fail this module tend not to get the extra marks. In order to address this issue, I have developed additional formative assessments this year (2010/11) to encourage students to use the objective tests in WebCT from day 1 of their teaching. What do I have to do? - Learn to use WebCT assessment tool - Create “good” objective test questions - This can be trickier than you think! - Check questions and answers - Decide what triggers extra marks - Show students how to do the tests - Encourage students, e.g. WebCT announcements.
Student response: - Only one “negative” comment - Module questionnaire: no negative comments! - Students continued to attempt the tests even after achieving 80% … 17/21, 19/21, 21/21! - 2010: 88% gained extra marks (2009: 72%) - Students used the objective tests for revision.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Edinburgh Napier University Staff Conference
Start Date Jan 1, 2010
End Date Jan 1, 2010
Publication Date 2010
Deposit Date Jul 14, 2015
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords WebCT; student assessments; student involvement; feedback;
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