Measuring the Quality of Test-based Exercises Based on the Performance of Students

A Correction to this article was published on 07 March 2021

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In order to be effective, a learning process requires the use of valid and suitable educational resources. However, measuring the quality of an educational resource is not an easy task for a teacher. The data of the performance of the students can be used to measure how appropriate the didactic resources are. Besides this data, adequate metrics and statistics are also needed. In this paper, TEA, a Visual Learning Analytics tool for measuring the quality of a particular type of educational resources, in particular test-based exercises, is presented. TEA is a teacher-oriented tool aimed at helping them to improve the quality of the learning material they have created by analyzing and visualizing the performance of the students. TEA evaluates not only the adequacy of individual items but also the appropriateness of a whole test. TEA provides the results of the evaluation so that they are easily interpretable by teachers and developers of educational material. The development of TEA required a thorough analysis and classification of metrics and statistics to identify those which are useful to measure the quality of test-based exercises using the data about the performance of the students. The tool provides visual representations of the performance of the students to allow teachers to evaluate the appropriateness of the test-based exercises they have created. The experimentation carried out with TEA at higher education level is also presented.

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    Basque language translation of “Test Exercises Examiner”.


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This work was supported by the Basque Government through ADIAN, under Grant IT980-16, and by MCIU/AEI/FEDER, UE, under Grant RTI2018-096846-B-C21.

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Correspondence to Jon A. Elorriaga.

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The original online version of this article was revised: The last part of the Conclusion section (see below), which appeared in the proofs reviewed by the author, did not appear in the published article. “In honor to Jim We acknowledge the help and inspiration of Professor Greer during the time we were fortunate to share with him. The academic and friendship relation between Professor Jim Greer and several of the members of the Ga-Lan group began in the early 1990s. In those years Jim acted as mentor to some of us, PhD students, and instilled in us a formal, yet pragmatic, way of researching. In 1993, he welcomed us warmly at the ARIES laboratory in the cold Saskatoon winter. Then, we got to know his dedication to the students who worked with him, the closeness with which he treated those students, how open-minded he was with their ideas and how he improved them with his great experience and insights. Thereafter, informal meetings with Jim during conferences were a good reason to attend them. Jim’s influence prompted us to work on learning systems adapted to the needs of the students. Like him, we believe in the importance of student models for this adaptation to be possible. We also share other lines of research such as learning analytics, the focus of this article. Eskerrik asko, Jim! (Thanks, Jim).”

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Arruarte, J., Larrañaga, M., Arruarte, A. et al. Measuring the Quality of Test-based Exercises Based on the Performance of Students. Int J Artif Intell Educ (2020).

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  • Test-based exercises
  • Visual Learning Analytics
  • Quality evaluation of test-based exercises