April 27, 2007

OU = Open Utopia?

As part of its nearly-£5m investment in Moodle, the free open-source course management system (CMS, aka VLE), the Open University (OU) is currently adding its in-house assessment software OpenMark to Moodle’s assessment capabilities. It will also incorporate some of the authoring strengths of OpenMark into the Moodle Quiz. The full integration may take some time to complete but will mean that OpenMark becomes open source too.

OpenMark’s strengths include the ability to diplay complicated mathematical and symbolic expressions and to provide graduated targeted feedback in response to multiple attempts at variations of the same question. Given the OU’s high production standards and long term funding, this development can only bode well for the future of online assessment, in particular, the assessment of mathematics-based subjects.


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