Is the test dead? Moodle & Domains of Knowledge

Is the test dead? Or, are computer facilitated assessments still useful?

Moodle’s quiz/test engine is one of the most dynamic and powerful platforms available to educators. Created through a collaborative, open-source, worldwide effort, educators can administer multiple choice tests, fill in the blank, drag & drop, short answer, etc and have the computer grade all of these different types of questions. Further, the test engine can pull from a pool of questions each time a student attempts the quiz so they see slightly different questions and can truly move towards mastery.  Most importantly, it allows for flexibility in grading so students highest, average or last quiz score can count in the grade book.  

The Moodle test engine is most effective for objective questions whose answers can easily be programmed into a computer. For example, labeling the countries of a particular continent would work well, not arguing which nation has the best opportunity for economic growth in the 21st century. In other words, Moodle’s test engine is most effective for level one (recall) and some level two (skill/concept) domains of knowledge:

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SOURCE: Wisconsin Center of Education Research

For domains three (strategic thinking) and four (extended thinking), peer and teacher assessment is necessary.  However, moodle or a similar test engine can be used to assess students mastery of domains one and two, freeing up instructor time to focus on higher cognitive return activities and assessments.  

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