Online Summative Assessment

Good podcast here about delivering summative assessment in the University of Vermont. Specifically about delivery on Blackboard simultaneously to a large number of students. Information on question import(Respondus), network used(wired), load testing(essential, start 16 students at a time), security(secure browser), analysis (extract info from xml), multimedia(real need for audio and video), question randomization and unexpected problems caused by heavy simultaneous use of the content system.

Many of the technical challenges had roots in heavy client/server interaction. That's a problem with architectures that treat the client as a dumb terminal and do all the processing on the server. Assessment delivery systems can reduce network errors and improve client responsiveness by embracing the rich client model - the assessment is delivered at the start of the exam and the results collected at the end. Simple network interactions like those are reliable even for large numbers of simultaneous connections.

Posted by Alexander at February 24, 2006 02:38 AM

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