Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 560–571 | Cite as

Grading Multiple Choice Exams with Low-Cost and Portable Computer-Vision Techniques

  • Jesus Arias Fisteus
  • Abelardo PardoEmail author
  • Norberto Fernández García


Although technology for automatic grading of multiple choice exams has existed for several decades, it is not yet as widely available or affordable as it should be. The main reasons preventing this adoption are the cost and the complexity of the setup procedures. In this paper, Eyegrade, a system for automatic grading of multiple choice exams is presented. While most current solutions are based on expensive scanners, Eyegrade offers a truly low-cost solution requiring only a regular off-the-shelf webcam. Additionally, Eyegrade performs both mark recognition as well as optical character recognition of handwritten student identification numbers, which avoids the use of bubbles in the answer sheet. When compared with similar webcam-based systems, the user interface in Eyegrade has been designed to provide a more efficient and error-free data collection procedure. The tool has been validated with a set of experiments that show the ease of use (both setup and operation), the reduction in grading time, and an increase in the reliability of the results when compared with conventional, more expensive systems.


Automatic assessment Computer-assisted assessment Automatic image recognition Computer-supported learning 



This work was partially funded by the EEE project, “Plan Nacional de I+D+I TIN2011-28308-C03-01” and the “Emadrid: Investigación y desarrollo de tecnologias para el e-learning en la Comunidad de Madrid” project (S2009/TIC-1650).

Supplementary material

10956_2012_9414_MOESM1_ESM.osp (43 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (OSP 43 kb)


  1. Apampa K, Wills G, Argles D (2009) Towards security goals in summative e-assessment security. In: International conference for internet technology and secured transactionsGoogle Scholar
  2. Deng H, Wang F, Liang B (2008) A low-cost OMR solution for educational applications. In: IEEE international symposium on parallel and distributed processing with applications. IEEE Press, New York, pp 967–970Google Scholar
  3. Duda RO, Hart PE (1972) Use of the hough transformation to detect lines and curves in pictures. Commun ACM 15(1):11–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Forsythe G, Wirth N (1965) Automatic grading programs. Commun ACM 8:275–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Karavirta V, Korhonen A, Malmi L (2006) On the use of resubmissions in automatic assessment systems. Comput Sci Educ 16(3):229–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kubo H, Ohashi H, Tamamura M, Kowata T, Kaneko I (2004) Shared questionnaire system for school community management. In: International symposium on applications and the internet, IEEE, pp 408–414Google Scholar
  7. Norris J, Pauli R, Bray D (2007) Mood change and computer anxiety: a comparison between computerised and paper measures of negative affect. Comput Hum Behav 23(6):2875–2887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Rane A, Kumar A, Saini H, Sasikumar M (2009) Extending moodle to support offline assessments. In: Proceedings of national seminar on e-learning and e-learning technologies (ELELTECH), pp 31–39Google Scholar
  9. Saengtongsrikamon C, Meesad P, Sodsee S (2009) Scanner-based optical mark recognition. J Inf Technol (Thailand) 9:69–73Google Scholar
  10. Twigg C (2003) Improving learning and reducing costs. URL
  11. Verdú E, Regueras LM, Verdú MJ, De Castro JP, Pérez MA (2008) An analysis of the research on adaptive learning: the next generation of e-learning. WSEAS Trans Inf Sci Appl 5(6):859–868Google Scholar
  12. Winters T, Payne T (2005) What do students know?: an outcomes-based assessment system. In: Proceedings of the first international workshop on computing education research. ACM, New York, USA, ICER ’05, pp 165–172Google Scholar
  13. Zammit A (2009) quexf an open source, web based paper form verification and data entry system.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesus Arias Fisteus
    • 1
  • Abelardo Pardo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Norberto Fernández García
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Telematic EngineeringUniversity Carlos III of MadridLeganés (Madrid)Spain

Personalised recommendations