J.M. Anke, M. Schumann

University of Goettingen (GERMANY)
One growing trend in higher education is the shift of educational goals from knowledge to competence acquisition and adoption. To measure these competences, assessments are essential. For competence-based assessments, authentic test content is required. The construct validity of the test can be improved by simulating an authentic situation in which competences are usually shown as authentic as possible. E-assessment systems can display authentic tasks and situations by using multimedia elements that increase the number of available stimuli compared to paper-based tests. By using simulations, participants can directly use their competences to solve problems. Thus, situational and contextual integration of tasks and the transferability of test results to real situations can be encouraged.

Especially in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), research on measurement of competences is still limited. For this reason, we developed a web-based business simulation for the measurement of competences in sustainability. This competence-based assessment system displays authentic business scenarios related to problems of sustainability in a fictional company. These scenarios show different departments in the value chain of the fictional company and include topics such as sustainability in the controlling department. In these scenarios, subjects take part in decision-making situations to collect information and make decisions.

The objective is to analyze if Authenticity of Test Content (ATC) will influence the use of the assessment system. Increased authenticity may lead to higher acceptance of the test. Thus, understanding the relationship between Authenticity of Test Content (ATC) and use of the system provides an opportunity to better design assessment environments to gain its acceptance by university students. For this purpose, we used the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and extended the model by the external variable Authenticity of Test Content (ATC). We surveyed 116 students from the business science department at the University of Goettingen using a standard questionnaire.
The data collected from our survey shows significant evidence supporting TAM. Our analytical results support our expectation that Authenticity of Test Content significantly influences Perceived Usefulness (PU) and Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) of the assessment system. Ultimately, it predicts the intention to continue to use the competence-based assessment system. Hence, TAM strongly predicts the intention to continue to use the competence-based assessment system. This study provides views of the assessment system users and significantly gives a better understanding of e-assessment user acceptance behavior.