Enhancing learning and measuring learning outcomes in mathematics using online assessment

Layna Groen


In its narrowest form, ‘assessment’ seeks to measure the degree to which learning objectives have been met. In a broader context, it seeks to measure the achievement of graduate attributes. As such, assessment tasks should include life-like, authentic or situated activities (Cumming and Maxwell 1999). For many disciplines, including mathematics, computer technology can be seen as part of such a context. However, Englebrecht and Harding (2004) find that ‘many teachers of mathematics still shy away from granting technology the same significant role in the assessment process.’(p.218). This paper proposes that online assessment offers an authentic environment under which to assess computer laboratory skills in mathematics, and further, that careful attention to the design of online assessment tasks can enhance student learning.

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