n Africa Education Review - Computer-aided authoring of assessment instruments : an activity-theoretical approach

Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1814-6627



Various researches have been conducted on the role and importance of assessment in education as well as its impact on the learner and the overall learning process. In fact, the way assessment is formulated in a particular subject shapes the way students learn. They focus their learning to comply with assessment requirements that they anticipate. In this article, the study is focused on the written examination papers (teacher-made tests) that are normally prepared at the end of a semester or an academic year to assess students of secondary and tertiary levels. The study also investigates how well papers are set and balanced according to the cognitive levels defined by Bloom (1956) and the learning outcomes/objectives as defined for the subjects. A collaborative process model as a framework for the design of such tests that can enhance the evaluation process is proposed. A brief argument is made for a case for a computer-supported collaborative environment to implement such a framework and which is based on activity theory. Such a framework is implemented in the form of MYSTIC; a collaborative authoring software for assessment instruments. The software allows stand-alone as well as collaborative authoring of examination papers and also helps academics' decision-making concerning the examination paper balancing and moderating process by graphically displaying and comparing marks allocated per question paper against the learning objectives.

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