About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5777-5790
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IN-APPLICATION AUTOMATED TESTING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER LITERACY SKILLS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER DRIVING LICENCE (ECDL/ICDL)

P. Masouras, S. Avgousti

Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
The ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) is considered as the de facto paneuropean standard for measuring end-user basic ICT skills. Known as the ICDL – International Computer Driving Licence in the countries outside Europe, it is offered today in more than 140 countries, in five continents. With a syllabus translated in over 40 different languages and with a network of more than 3000 approved training and test centers worldwide it has become a standard model for training and assessing computer skills of more than ten millions people. It can be claimed that ECDL/ICDL constitutes the most massive community of computer learners based on a global basis.

The ECDL/ICDL is managed internationally by the ECDL Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Dublin.
To acquire the ECDL qualification a person has to succeed in seven tests, one theoretical and six practical. The practical tests are taken on the computer and relate to the most common office applications used both in the office and at home, namely:

1 - Concepts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
2 - Using the Computer and Managing Files
3 - Word Processing
4 - Spreadsheets
5 - Using Databases
6 - Presentation
7 - Web Browsing and Communication

Each module is described in detail in the Syllabus which is structured in Categories, Knowledge Areas and Knowledge Items.
Testing for the ECDL takes place at Approved Test Centers which are licensed to carry out the process following a rigorous accreditation process. For the organization and delivery of the ECDL tests, the ECDL Foundation publishes a set of Quality Standards and Guidelines. In developed countries testing is mostly performed using automated testing systems while in the less developed countries testing is carried out in a manual mode whereby the work of candidates is assessed by authorized testers.
Commercial entities providers of ECDL Automated Testing and Evaluation Systems (ATES) have to comply to the Foundation’s Standards in order to have their product evaluated and designated as an ECDL Approved ATES. Due to the nature of the ECDL content, the software being used for testing is primarily the various versions of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office suite and the Open and Star Office suites in combination with Linux.
Within the ATES domain we can identify two different types of systems: SIMATES and InAATES.
Systems are characterized as SIMATES because they base their operation on simulation. These types of systems simply simulate the Microsoft Office or the Open Office environments and present only limited functionality to the user. On the other hand, INA-ATES (=In-Application ATES) allow the simultaneous and full operation of the underlying application software (i.e Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook etc) in parallel with the testing and evaluation engine.

The proposed paper will present and examine the experiences gained from the design, testing and implementation of a Web and LAN based In-Application Testing and Evaluation System and its deployment in a bing-bang approach on a national basis in Cyprus. It will present the system’s components and technical architecture, its functionalities and services but equally the pedagogical and educational aspects considered in the design. It will also discuss the pitfalls and lessons learned in the areas of team building and project management, the challenges ahead in view of the plans for its expansion and internationalization.
@InProceedings{MASOURAS2010THE,
author = {Masouras, P. and Avgousti, S.},
title = {THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IN-APPLICATION AUTOMATED TESTING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER LITERACY SKILLS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER DRIVING LICENCE (ECDL/ICDL)},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {5777-5790}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Masouras AU - S. Avgousti
TI - THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IN-APPLICATION AUTOMATED TESTING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER LITERACY SKILLS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER DRIVING LICENCE (ECDL/ICDL)
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 5777
EP - 5790
ER -
P. Masouras, S. Avgousti (2010) THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN IN-APPLICATION AUTOMATED TESTING AND EVALUATION SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER LITERACY SKILLS BASED ON THE EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL COMPUTER DRIVING LICENCE (ECDL/ICDL), EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 5777-5790.
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