Thursday, 12 July 2012

Computer Assisted Assessment Conference

I attended the CAA 2012 Conference this week. It is organised by Southampton University, and held in Southampton. This was the 15th annual event.

It was well attended, with representative from many UK universities, several awarding bodies and some international attendees, including a representative from an Australian university. A number of Scottish universities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, were represented. In fact, the keynote talk was given by Steve Draper from Glasow University, who explored why technology had not transformed learning and assessment. In fact, this assertion (that technology had not transformed education in the way many people expected) was a theme throughout the conference.

I attended a number of presentations throughout the event. I particularly enjoyed one given by another Scottish academic, Nora Mogey of Edinburgh University, about the "stylic differences between types and handwritten examinations". Nora gave a fascinating talk about student perceptions about, and the actual impact of, typing examination answers rather than writing them. Another presentation I particularly enjoyed was from Sue Timmis of Surrey University who spoke about "the cutting edge of research into e-assessment".

My own paper on "The need for a taxonomy to facilitate e-assessment" was accepted (conference papers are peer reviewed before being accepted), and I gave a presentation on this topic, which seemed to be well received.
The thrust of my argument was that one of the things holding back the adoption of online assessment was the lack of standards -- the lack of an agreed vocabularly (taxonomy) being a case in point.

All of the papers presented at the conference are published in the conference proceedings, and I think that this year's publication will make intesting reading.

Computing is the best supported subject in SQA in terms of e-learning and e-assessment materials, and attendance at events like this always encourages me to be bolder in this regard, which is something that the HN 2.0 project plans to do.

Contact Caroline for a list of resources available for the HN awards.


  1. If you missed out on the CAA, then you could always register for eAssessment Scotland - the UK's largest conference that focuses on technology-enhanced assessment practices. Held on the 31st of August in Dundee, the event is FREE to all delegates, though places are going fast.

    A cross-sector event, featuring a fantastic range of keynotes, seminars (including sessions from Steve Draper and Sue Timmis if you missed them at the CAA), and workshops.

    And if you can't make it up to Dundee on the 31st, then why not join eAssessment Scotland Online - a parallel 2-week event, which is again free to join, and features 20 presentations from around the globe (including our very own Bobby Elliot).

    Now, how could you miss that?

    For more information and to sign up, visit:

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