Distinguishing between students who guess and those who know

December 27, 2018

Measuring the knowledge of students in online courses poses a number of challenges. Researchers from the Higher School of Economics and the University of Leuven made improvements to the model for assessing academic achievements and published their results in the journal Heliyon.

Several systemic factors make it difficult for the developers of online courses to assess students' proficiency accurately. First, the average 10-15 test questions are too few to produce an accurate and reliable measure of knowledge. Second, the use of multiple-choice questions leads to guessing and a distortion of the results. Third, frequent use of the same set of correct answers as a measure of proficiency makes it difficult to compare students when the test is updated even slightly.

Researchers of the Higher School of Economics and the University of Leuven managed to solve these problems by expanding the classic Rasch model with additional parameters.

'First, our expanded approach includes the effect of multiple attempts, making it possible to distinguish between students who guess and those who know the answers,' said HSE Centre for Psychometrics in eLearning Head Dmitry Abbakumov. 'Second, because the knowledge metrics obtained with this expanded approach are expressed on a single scale, they can be compared even when the test questions are changed significantly. And finally, we calculate metrics based not only on test results, but also by taking into account the student's experience -- their activity when watching videos and performance in hands-on sessions -- providing a more comprehensive understanding of the student's competence.'

In the future, the approach proposed by the researchers could be used in assessment engines on educational platforms to obtain more accurate measurements of students' knowledge. And the metrics could be built into the navigation and recommendation solutions in digital education.

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Related Economics Articles from Brightsurf:

A century of misunderstanding of a key tool in the economics of natural resources
In the past few weeks, oil prices have fallen to record lows.

What comes after COVID-19? Special issue in the journal Population and Economics
At this alarming time, when the COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone's mind, a new special issue in the open-access peer-reviewed journal Population and Economics provides a platform for discussion on the impact of the pandemic on the population and economics, both in Russia and worldwide.

Challenges for Russia's agriculture: new special issue in Russian Journal of Economics
While Russia seems to have tackled its historic problem: food shortage -- with the agri-food sector becoming one of the most steadily developing of the national economy in the last decade -- there is a new set of challenges.

Brief entrance test can predict academic success within first year of study in economics
German researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin found that even a short test can reliably predict students' success within their first year of study in economics -- much better than an intelligence test or predictions based on school grades.

The case for economics -- by the numbers
In recent years, criticism has been levelled at economics for being insular and unconcerned about real-world problems.

Scientists develop open-source software to analyze economics of biofuels, bioproducts
Perennial grasses can be converted into everything from ethanol to bioplastics, but it's unclear which bioproducts hold the greatest potential.

Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.

SCAI and ACVP release consensus statement on cardiovascular catheterization laboratory economics
A newly released expert consensus statement provides recommendations for optimizing the financial operations of the cardiovascular catheterization laboratory (CCL) while providing cutting-edge patient care.

Shocking economics
Understanding economies in times of crises? Modern macroeconomics failed so far.

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?
Many situations in economics are complicated and competitive; this research raises the question of whether many theories in economics may suffer from the very fundamental problem that the key behavioral assumption of equilibrium is wrong.

Read More: Economics News and Economics Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.