Assessment in WWW-Based Learning Systems: Opportunities and Challenges
Mary Hopper (Networked Multimedia Information Systems (NMIS), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Abstract: This paper proposes that the most important role the computer may play in education could be contributing to the ubiquitous use of assessment for the improvement of instruction. In order to realize this potential, newly emerging WWW-based learning systems should support a very wide range of embedded assessment features. These systems require architectures with a core of reliable integrated management tools, one or more modules with instruction and assessment, standard database connectivity, and an acceptable level of attention to permissions and security. No company will adequately address all of the possibilities for assessment in WWW-based learning systems, so it is critical that WWW based learning systems have "open system" architectures and company policies for cooperating with other companies to support interoperable modules. The point is raised that some products with similar types of assessment features can have very different architectures and policies for supporting interoperable modules. It is recommended that "checklists" for comparing assessment capabilities should be viewed with skepticism, because they can favor products with weaker architectures and policies for accommodating assessment capabilities.
Keywords: educational assessment, electronic learning systems