Computer-based feedback in formative assessment

Fabienne van der Kleij

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Formative assessment concerns any assessment that provides feedback that is intended to support learning and can be used by teachers and/or students. Computers could offer a solution to overcoming obstacles encountered in implementing formative assessment. For example, computer-based assessments could be scored automatically whereupon feedback can be directly provided to students. As well, reports that provide information on student learning for use by teachers and others could be generated automatically. The extent to which computers could support formative assessment practices was the central focus of this dissertation, which covered three main areas: 1. Item-based feedback provided to students through a computer (Chapters 2, 3, and 4) 2. Feedback provided through a computer to educators based on students’ assessment results (Chapters 5 and 6) 3) A comparison of three approaches to formative assessment: Data-based decision making (DBDM), assessment for learning (AfL), and diagnostic testing (DT) (Chapter 7) In Chapter 2, the effects of written feedback in a computer-based assessment for learning on students’ learning outcomes were investigated in an experiment at an institute of higher education in the Netherlands. Chapter 3 presented a review of the relevant literature regarding the effectiveness of different methods in providing written feedback through a computer-based assessment for learning. Chapter 4 presented a meta-analysis of the effects of methods used to provide item-based feedback on students’ learning outcomes in a computer-based environment. Chapter 5 focused on the interpretation of score reports generated by the pupil-monitoring Computer Program LOVS by teachers, internal support teachers, and principals. Chapter 6 investigated how these reports could be redesigned to support users in interpreting pupils’ test results. Chapter 7 was not directly concerned with computer-based feedback in formative assessment but related to a broader approach in which computer-based applications may be used to support learning. The chapter provided a theoretical comparison of three approaches to formative assessment, which are currently the most frequently discussed in the literature on educational research: data-based decision making (DBDM); assessment for learning (AfL); and diagnostic testing (DT).
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Eggen, Theo J.H.M., Supervisor
Award date19 Dec 2013
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3580-9
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2013


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