Evaluation of Computer-Based Assessment Methods for Engineering Courses


Several computer-based assessment methods have been used in chemical engineering classes at the University of Missouri-Rolla. This experience provides the basis for an evaluation of the technology and human factors involved in the application of these methods. From the student's perspective, the major strength of computer-based assessments is the instantaneous feedback that is provided. From the instructor's perspective, the major strengths are twofold: 1) rapid grading and 2) individualized assessments. The major drawbacks for the students are the loss of partial credit and the insecurity associated with working in a virtual environment. Faculty find that the time required to construct effective computer-based assessments is much greater than that for paper-based assessments. Unfortunately, the increase in construction time can be greater than the reduction in grading time. With the current technology, it is extremely difficult to develop large, multi-step problems requiring problem analysis and solution synthesis skills without leading the student to the answer. This, of course, defeats the purpose of the assessment for this type of problem.

Meeting Name

2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition (2005: June 12-15, Portland, OR)


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Computer-based Assessments; Individualized Assessments; Multi-step Problems; Rapid Grading

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2005