Interactive Collaborative Assessment System - iCAS
QBIT (QAAFI Biological Information Technology) developed the iCAS web application for The School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences. QBIT completed this innovative web application which allows minimal lecturers and tutors to manage large numbers of students (>1000) and their assessment tasks and reporting. Due to the success of iCAS, QBIT is now involved in an ALTC competitive grant to extend this project further.
iCAS currently does the following:
- Staff create a number of assessment tasks available to student groups. For example a posters and presentation assignments covering various topics.
- Staff define the maximum number of groups to be allocated to each assignment.
- The students are linked into the iCAS system via Active Directory (AD).
- iCAS allow students to form their own groups or can auto allocate students into random groups.
- Assessment tasks can be selected by the student or automatically allocated.
- iCAS notification system emails students about their group and assignment.
- Students can work on their project “offline” or participate in a private group forum provided by iCAS to discuss their project and what they’ll do.
- At the end of an assignment iCAS allows each group member to mark other members on various criteria, plus comment about their performance.
- iCAS also allocates every student a number of other groups assignments to mark.
- Marks are then compiled into a final score for each student (e.g. from group members and the overall assignment marks given by students outside their own group).
- Staff are able to moderate scores (up or down - or fail). This is useful in the situation where there is a group dispute or staff see that students marked too generously or from the forum discussions one student did more work than the others.
- Staff can see via reports students who have completed the assignment and have completed their peer marking. Students who have not completed the various tasks are highlighted.
- Staff can export the results (CSV) for upload into other reporting systems.
The current iCAS system has great potential for further development with a number of enhancements discussed. Further funding for the project is currently being pursued by grants.
Screen shot from iCAS:
: MS SQL, Microsoft .NET Framework, AJAX, Extensible Markup Language (XML)