Computer-Assisted Assessment in Open-Ended Activities through the Analysis of Traces: A Proof of Concept in Statistics with R Commander
Miquel Calvo 1 * , Artur Carnicer 2, Jordi Cuadros 3, Francesc Martori 3, Antonio Miñarro 1, Vanessa Serrano 3
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1 Section of Statistics, Faculty of Biology, Universitat de Barcelona, SPAIN2 Department of Applied Physics, Universitat de Barcelona, SPAIN3 Quantitative Methods Department, IQS Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, SPAIN* Corresponding Author


Open-ended tasks are common in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. However, as far as we know, no tools have been developed to assist in the assessment of the solution process of open-ended questions. In this paper, we propose the use of analysis of traces as a tool to address this need. To illustrate this approach, we developed a modified version of R Commander that collects traces of students’ actions and described a way to analyze them by using regular expressions. We used this tool in an undergraduate introductory statistics course. The traces were analyzed by comparing them to predefined problem-solving steps, arranged by the instructor. The analyses provide information about the time students spent on the activity, their work intensity and the choices they made when solving open-ended questions. This automated assessment tool provides grades highly correlated to those obtained by a traditional test and traditional grading scheme.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EURASIA J Math Sci Tech Ed, 2019, Volume 15, Issue 9, Article No: em1743

Publication date: 12 Apr 2019

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Article Downloads: 1203

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