Mathematics made easy -- an online assessment system

Kenneth Wong, Yu Chi-wing and Reggie Kwan
Caritas Francis Hsu College
Hong Kong SAR, China

Mathematics is a challenging subject for students at all levels. This paper presents the design of an online assessment system that focuses on 'assessment for learning'. This prototype aims to enhance learning by helping teachers teach K-S3 Mathematics in Hong Kong. The system was built on the concept domain model and the Rasch model. The two integrated models are used for providing adaptive features to students, such as navigation support, optimal study paths and direct guidance. The Rasch model is based on the simplest item response theory (IRT) model which is used to determine students' estimated ability level. When students enter the system, different problems are assigned to them depending on their estimated ability levels. Once the system senses an individual student's responses are converging to a particular competence level, the system immediately calculates the student's estimated ability level, identifies his/her strengths and weaknesses, and calibrates that item's difficulty level. The system then gives the student an immediate score, solutions for items, feedback and a recommended study path, and direct guidance. It also provides analysis reports for teachers in order to gauge their students' strengths and weaknesses. A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of this system is discussed.