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Bayesian Networks in Educational Assessment

Cognition and Assessment


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ACED development and data collection was sponsored by National Science Foundation Grant No. 0313202.

In one evaluation (see Shute, Hansen, & Almond, in press), we examined the efficacy of ACED (Adaptive Content with Evidence-based Diagnosis). We used an evidence-centered design approach (Mislevy, Steinberg, & Almond, 2003) to create an adaptive, diagnostic assessment system which includes five main models: competency, evidence, task, presentation, and assembly (Shute, Graf, & Hansen, 2005). We also included instructional support in the form of elaborated feedback. The key issue we examined was whether the inclusion of the feedback into the system (a) impairs the quality of the assessment (relative to validity, reliability, and efficiency), and (b) does, in fact, enhance student learning. Results from a controlled evaluation testing 268 high-school students showed that the quality of the assessment was unimpaired by the provision of feedback. Moreover, students using the ACED system showed significantly greater learning of the content compared with a control group. These findings suggest that assessments in other settings (e.g., state-mandated tests) might be augmented to support student learning with instructional feedback without jeopardizing the primary purpose of the assessment.

In another evaluation (Hansen, Shute, & Landau, under review), we conducted a usability study of ACED using individuals with and without visual disabilities. The ACED system provided audio-tactile graphics, which were intended to be especially for individuals with little or no vision. Results of the study, which involved four individuals--two with blindness and two with low vision--suggested that, within limitations due to the small size of the study, individuals with visual disabilities found both the low vision and blind modes of the ACED system to be generally usable for a mathematics AfL system.



Hansen, E. G., Shute, V. J., & Landau, S. (under review). An assessment-for-learning system in mathematics for individuals with visual disabilities. Submitted April 2008 to the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness.

Shute, V. J., Hansen, E. G., & Almond, R. G. (in press). You can’t fatten a hog by weighing it—Or can you? Evaluating an assessment for learning system called ACED. To appear in the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence and Education (IJAIED).

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