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Appears in:
Pages: 152-159
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1031

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain


A.C. Finamore, A. Moura Santos, P. Ribeiro

Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa (PORTUGAL)
People are living more. It is expected that this undergraduate student’s generation – Z generation or Centennial, born between 1990 until 2010 - works until 70 or 80 years old. Then, the question is: How will they stay updated and well prepared for this challenge? With this in mind, we perceived that students are lifelong learners (November, 2012) and for this, the development of new skills are needed such as independent learning, self-motivated, self-directed, better equipped to capture information, collaborative, argumentative, critical, etc. (Wheeler, 2015).

In order to close the gap between traditional higher education and non-standard education, we propose here two initiatives integrated in the efforts of the Department of Mathematics (DM) of Instituto Superior Técnico (Técnico Lisboa, tecnico.ulisboa.pt), Universidade de Lisboa, to cope with the challenge of offering e-learning contents that help lifelong learners, namely a Wiki-Técnico, and a database of exercises with random parameters that can compound electronic lists of exercises (for quizzes and tests) automatically graded, and integrated in LMS platforms (e.g. FenixEdu, fenixedu.org) and in open online courses (e.g. courses MOOC Técnico, mooc.tecnico.ulisboa.pt).

The problems and exercises collected for Wiki-Técnico and for the exercises with random parameters, in topics as Linear Algebra, Vector Calculus, Probability and Statistics, etc. are inspired in many years of experience in assessing thousands of students in STEM at Técnico Lisboa. Creating Wiki-Técnico, we identified some crucial but simple concepts exercises, then a lot of medium/high level exercises that appear often in tests, to end up with more sophisticated conceptual questions. Organising the problems and questions by topics, we show students how the subject is structured; classifying them with metadata (level of difficulty, resolution time, etc.), we help them to acknowledge their level of preparation.

By creating electronic exercises with random parameters, we can count on new exercises to fix initial concepts and can use metadata to help teachers to choose the kind of exercises that will compose the electronic list of questions. The teacher can choose also if he/she wants to apply these electronic exercises in a self-assessment quiz or with a deadline and counting towards the final grade. These exercises are first created using Mathematica software (Wolfram Research, Inc., wolfram.com) to later generate thousand of different XML files, to be automatically and randomly distributed between the enrolled students.

We are also aligned with the MOOC Técnico initiative that aims to offer learners opportunities to take marked assessments and tests in order to receive a verified certificate with their grade. In a near future we even consider to complete invigilated exams under timed conditions, e.g. in person at a supervised test center. Therefore, besides in course formative assessment, which may include non-grade quizzes for self-assessment, and in course summative assessment in form of graded tests (marked automatically), it will be very important to personalize the end of course graded exam to help to ensure the independence and impartiality of the result. Once again we can use the variety of possibilities offered by the exercises with random parameters to achieve this goal whilst ensuring that the grade will be easily marked.
author = {Finamore, A.C. and Moura Santos, A. and Ribeiro, P.},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1031},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1031},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {152-159}}
AU - A.C. Finamore AU - A. Moura Santos AU - P. Ribeiro
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1031
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 152
EP - 159
ER -
A.C. Finamore, A. Moura Santos, P. Ribeiro (2016) FOSTERING STEM FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT FOR LIFELONG LEARNERS, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 152-159.