SMABS 2004 Jena University
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European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

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Contributions: Abstract

An analysis of undergraduate student ability based on computer-automated testing

Silvia Cagnone Roberto Ricci Simone Ricucci
University of Bologna

In the Italian university system, increasing levels of educational requirement call for methods of evaluation that allow to achieve a conscious and clear judgement of the individual ability. The Bologna University has been developing an experimental project based on an automatic evaluation system applied in different steps of the educational offer. This automatic system consists of a computer test that has been delivered through a web-application to the undergraduate students of some faculties of Bologna University in every exam session since the beginning of 2003.

The aim of this work is to analyze a part of the data collected by the Computer Science Department during the informatics exams in the 2003. Different IRT models for ordered polytomous variables are considered in order to get an evaluation of student ability. Ordered polytomous variables are used for a problem solving process that contains a finite number of steps so that the ability of a student can be evaluated on the basis of the step achieved, namely, higher steps achieved are related to higher ability. The results can be the starting point for an extension of this methods to the context of the self-evaluation and e-learning.