An evaluation of the multimedia personal computer as an assessment tool
The aim of this research was to investigate and evaluate how computerised assessment could be progressed using current advances in technology (1993-1996) such as the increased computing power and storage capacity, and multimedia capabilities. This research would be conducted with respect to a typical chemistry degree course. After a detailed literature survey it was concluded that the major computerised assessment technique was the multiple-choice format or a hybrid of it. A typical degree course was analysed in order to determine the learning outcomes and if these could be assessed by computerisation. Of the assessment methods used in a degree course, it was found that 57% of these could be computerised to some extent. These assessment methods were found to be objective in nature. This research focused on investigating the feasibility of producing computerised assessment methods that in effect used the computer as an electronic notepad and an on-line tutor. Students would be able to input each step of their solution to a problem. The student would be assessed on that step of their solution and not only on the end answer. It was found that computerised assessment could be extended beyond the multiplechoice format to assessing students' process skills in problem solving. Students can input each stage of their solution to a problem and receive feedback in real-time as to whether or not their methodology is correct. Several areas have been investigated: practical chemistry, in particular apparatus assembly; physical chemistry, mathematical problem solving; organic chemistry, reaction mechanisms; chemical information and retrieval. During these investigations several prototypes of the applications were developed. These prototypes were developed using Visual Basic 3.0 Professional for Windows 3.1. These prototypes serve as the data that support this research.