The Support Model

In our Taxonomy of Mark Schemes we noted that exam questions usually assess either the quality of students' 'work or how correct their answers are to questions of varying difficulty.

We have developed a third approach, in which students are judged in terms of how much help they need in order to produce an acceptable response to a complex question. With this model everyone succeeds, even if they need a lot of support. In our trials it has proved very popular with students. Through a computer interface, a student's early attempts at an answer are evaluated and prompts are given to improve the answer until it is considered good enough: the amount of help given is a measure of the student's understanding.

The model is not complete yet; improved programming is needed to automate the prompting process and further research is needed to optimise the scoring system.

Further information

For more information, download these papers from Our Publications:

Title Authors Date Publication
The Support Model for Interactive Assessment Ayesha Ahmed and Alastair Pollitt September 2002 IAEA Conference, Hong Kong
Quantifying support: Grading achievement with the Support Model Ayesha Ahmed and Alastair Pollitt June 2004 IAEA Conference, Philadelphia

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