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Evaluation of Respondus software as a means of delivering online summative assessments for Geography students

A presentation from the STEM Annual Conference 2014.

As Universities move towards paperless submission of course-work the Respondus suite of software offers one solution for establishing a platform for objective summative assessments. The software is being utilised as part of the formal assessment strategy in a 30 credit module within a Geography degree programme at Kingston University. Previous use of the software in a formative role indicates that it is a very effective tool for assessing key concepts and facts. The application of the software to deliver Multiple Choice Questions allows students to recall a varied range of information within a fixed time period and offers learners with a range of abilities the opportunity to be assessed in an objective manner and receive instant feedback. Whereas essay based assessments tend to produce marks with a limited standard deviation; this approach provides learners with the opportunity to score across the full mark range. Whilst this has been deemed to be a very positive experience it is uncertain as to how this process relates to knowledge retention and processes of deep or surface learning and whether or not it is of benefit to students with different backgrounds learning styles or special needs. With support from Kingston University under its SADRAS funding programme students and staff are undertaking collaborative research to explore these issues and this oral presentation will detail the outcome of this investigation. Project to conclude March 2014 outputs include student and staff guidance in relation to online Respondus assessments.

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