Experiences using an Automated Testing and Learning System

Alyosha Pushak, Deb Carter, Teresa Wrzesniewski, and Ramon Lawrence


Automated testing, electronic assignments, evaluation, science, physics


Technology can improve teaching efficiency and delivery, but the most repetitive and time-consuming tasks of assignment, test preparation and marking are still mostly manual. Automated testing systems have the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of time spent on these repetitive tasks, freeing up instructor time for valuable student contact, and allowing for more uniformity on student and instructor achievement and evaluation. The challenge is determining if such systems are appropriate for a given course, the methods in which they will be used, and if the time and costs associated with their use are acceptable. In this paper, we describe our experiences on evaluating available automated testing systems, the reasons for selecting an in-house system, and initial results on its effectiveness. The results demonstrate that these systems can be very beneficial, especially for large science classes, and can be deployed at minimal cost. Insights for successful use are also presented.

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