Contextualizing formative assessment in Mathematics and Statistics

A paper from the STEM Annual Conference 2012.

Feedback-rich questions are a valuable resource in formative assessment, and students find contextualised questions that are relevant to their discipline and subject area more motivating than “plain maths”. A number of OER repositories and previous projects have made content available that is compliant with the IMS Question and Test Interoperability specification Version 2.1 but much of this content lacks context. At the same time, the existing tools for authoring QTIv2.1 are not readily accessible to the uninitiated.

In the QTIDI and Uniqurate projects we are transferring the technological means to create, modify and deliver QTI 2.1 to a group of “client” partner institutions, redeveloping the tools to focus on usability and integration with common Virtual Learning Environments. Many of the staff members who are adopting the technologies teach STEM subjects in which students are required to learn and practise mathematical techniques as a tool with which to achieve the objectives of their specific discipline. As a second strand of the project, colleagues from client institutions will be trained to use the new tools to add context from their own questions to existing “plain maths” content.