March 28, 2007

MADCAP Musings

Follow-up to Informal Workshop at Warwick on 26th March on CAA with Maths from Computer-aided assessment for sciences

For 5 hours on Monday, a score of us shared thoughts about online assessment, especially the assessment of mathematics. Here are some of my headline takes on the day:

  • Computer-aided assessment of mathematical knowledge and understanding has special needs but offers special rewards
  • SToMP, PROMPT, Mathletics, iAssess, OpenMark, STACK, WeBWorK, Maple TA are among the many maths-friendly CAA packages used by or known to people attending the workshop. These tools have many common features but can rarely talk to each other. So much work duplicated but not shared. Does it really have to be like that?
  • Question and Test Interoperatibility (QTI) standards to the rescue? Not with the generic Version 1 at least. A better chance with the developing Version 2, which will admit optional extensions users can create to handle special needs, in particular those of mathematics. Will they ever work sufficiently well to justify the limitations they impose and extra attention they require?

There are plans to produce a proper report of the day. Watch this space.

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