Friday, 28 September 2007

Assessment Engines

While there are numerous programs out there for developing assessment's, there is still no current opensource/easily accessible engines. While there is numerous software out there ie questionmark, there is not one that is developed using core webtechnology's that can be easily accessed/ Inutuitive UI and is pedagogicaly sound.

To achieve this there would have be a joint collaboration between different Universities/College's, and commercial companies.

The ideal system, would encompass tools such as,
  • Full Assessment administration
  • Full Item Banking
  • Results Anlysis
  • The ability to be platform independant
  • The ability to support diagnostic, formattive and summative exams
  • The ability to plugin and develop custom question styles
One day we will have such a system, but by then we will have probably moved away from question based exams........

Monday, 24 September 2007

Centralisation vs Individuals

Wouldn't this be a good topic to have a debate on,

Do you believe in centralisation for support teams within Higher Education, if so what is the reasoning behind your belief ...

Coming from a centralised team within a University here are my thoughts,

An ex colleague of mine took up post as a learning technologist within a department and has solely worked on their material. This not only has raised the departments use of technology, but has played a part in significantly improving the quality of the training materials. This impacts not only the student but the perception of the department and the University as a whole.

The time that an individual can spend with the team is much greater than that of a production department. The intimate relationship that the learning technologist has with the academic is much greater than that of a department and as such can promote and advise to a more receptive audience.

With department production comes a level of generalisation, that can affect the quality of the training materials especially when dealing with large numbers of academics.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Supporting Research

Since Im on a roll today and am getting addicted already, I thought I would write up about a piece of software I am currently trialling at the University of Derby.

A lot of University's around the country already offer support to students wanting to produce survey's for research purposes and it was felt that it would be beneficial to bring this service to Derby.

The software is called Limesurvey and can be found at This brilliant piece of software is an open source project developed by a group of student's in their final year. It is fully customizable and is updated very frequently.

Would recommend this to any1 wanting to produce surveys and handle the results analysis.



Having recently attended the Alt-C conference in Nottingham, I was thoroughly impressed on how the view on supporting education has changed. Most notably was the keynote on the second day by Dylan Wiliam called Assessment, learning and technology: prospects at the periphery of control.
The keynote came as a shock and reminder to me on how not to focus learning towards technology, but on focusing technology to learning.

Many times recently I have been looking at tools and greedily thinking of how can get a hold of and use these tools. When infact I should be looking at does the tools acutally enhance and make value of the content.

Having attended the CAA conference this year, I was noticbly more impressed with the demonstrations and ideas being put forward at the ALT-C. This is probably due to the ALT-C conference being more generalized in regards to Learning.

First Post

Well since this is my first outing into the realm of blogging, I thought I better open it up with some background info.

Name: Christopher Jack
Work : CIAD (Centre for Interactive Assessment Development) University of Derby
Years Exp: 8

My blog posts will be from a personal persepective within the workings of a university department, tho commenting on tools and apps will take place.

Adios for now