06 September, 2007

ALT-C 2007: Day Three - Automated Formative Feedback

Today I've been to the 9:00 session William Billingsley from the University of Cambridge and Pete Thomas from the Open University.

William was talking about the use of Intellegent Books and Massively Multiple Choice questions. Intellegent Books are an attempt to create a reactive learning environment (Brown, Burton and Bell, 1974). They give students feedback on their actions, perhaps calculating the consequences of a decision in a model simulation.

Massively Multiple Choice questions are an attempt to remove the possibilty of students guessing answers, and giving teachers a better chance at understanding how the student understands the topic, like what Dylan Wiliam was talking about yesterday.

Pete Thomas spoek about their work on automating the assessment of flow diagrams in subjects like computer science. Their ER Tutor Tool can work out how a students model of a process differs from the correct one and gives feedback on it.

In Conclusion

I've seen a lot this week about formative feedback and the potential use of technologies to automate the process or to simplify the process for the teacher. After what Dylan Wiliams said about remembering that the most important piece of the process is the teacher, and the teacher's skills, we should remember that the teachers need to do the designing of automated feedback alongside Learning Technologists (in a 'New Academic Team') who can advise from a technical point of view.

No comments: