Computer Assisted Evaluation Of Student Performance In An Engineering Course
Increasing enrollment of students and declining availability of qualified and experienced faculty are leading to increased assessment loads of the existing faculty. Moreover, the assessment techniques are changing drastically due to the ever-increasing demand of new knowledge and abilities from the students. The tools offered by information technology can now be effectively used in enhancing the productivity of a teacher. This thesis proposes a mechanism for creating both summative and formative assessment instruments for a course in an engineering program. The assessment instruments will vary widely in nature depending on the subject. With increasing prevalence of digital devices in all walks of life a first level knowledge of digital systems is considered necessary for all engineers especially under electrical and computer engineering curricula. The first level course ‘Basics of Digital Systems’ is chosen for developing a framework of computer assisted evaluation. Creation of assessment instruments is best done in the context of an instructional system design (ISD) model. ADDIE, a generic model is chosen for the study. Bloom’s classification of levels of cognition, Vincenti’s categorization of engineering knowledge, and ‘Gronlund 2-level’ method for writing the learning objectives are integrated to create a ‘Bloom-Vincenti–Gronlund’(BVG)framework for preparing the learning objectives/assessment instruments. Developing tools for evaluation of performance of students in the assessment tests requires consideration of many issues: analysis of problems and their solution methods, errors normally committed by students, grading preferences of the instructor and feedback to students. A set of tools are developed that are able to evaluate the truth tables, state tables, excitation tables, timing diagram and VHDL codes. The developed tools are validated. The submission of the assignment and the integration of all the tools for evaluation will be more effective if they can be integrated in a learning management system (LMS). ‘MOODLE’, an open source LMS, is identified for the integration of the tools. The developed tools execute the files submitted by the students, evaluate them, and provide feedback to the students. In summary, the thesis addressed some key issues related to “assessment and evaluation of students’ performance” and proposed an integrated computer assisted system for the evaluation of students’ performance in the course ‘Basics of Digital Systems’.
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