Automating the assessment and reporting of laboratory based learning outcomes

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    In the teaching, learning and assessment of subjects that involve a laboratory based environment challenges can be faced in assessing practice-based learning outcomes. In the subject of computer networks and systems, for example, this might involve working with multivendor devices and operating systems utilising real equipment or simulation employing real or virtualized environments. Assessment may involve designing an exercise and developing solutions so that when students undertake practical tasks their effort can be compared to a working solution. Since this process can be very time consuming it would be useful to be able to automatically extract student work from the laboratory environment and to assess the extent to which it matches the expectations of the exercise. In order to do this a template could be configured which may be used to compare student work against expected outcomes. This comparison might just indicate how many tasks have been successfully achieved from an overall number, whereas it may be more useful for students to receive feedback in a descriptive form, which could include suggestions for improvement. An application has been developed that allows the automation of assessment of practice based laboratory outcomes based on a template solution. Another application that facilitates assessment based on a criteria based rubric structure has also been developed that is able to produce a detailed feedback report for students and a mechanism has been incorporated into this for importing data from the former application. An experiment has demonstrated that practice-based assessment can be automated successfully and feedback reported in a form that may be more familiar to students. Recommendations for further work will investigate how the complementary applications can be used in a live exercise involving a group of students.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
    Subtitle of host publicationICERI2021 Proceedings
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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