QRECT embodies a new system for both classroom and distance interaction, testing, and evaluation of respondents under the direction of an instructor. The instructor poses questions that have unique, unambiguous, computer-comparable responses. An expert consensus model determines estimated optimal responses. Enhancements that utilize question weights – estimations of the ‘value’ or ‘utility’ of a question – can be used.
We believe that if a person is teaching effectively then, periodically, there is some question that can be asked, with a simple one string or numerical response, which will indicate the extent of comprehension. This response will also show what erroneous views students might hold. If the correct response is in the instructor’s system then all students will be automatically graded on the question and these grades can be maintained and sent to the student at the end of the class to indicate class performance.
This response-evaluation environment has taken form as a web-based system where respondents sign on to the response-evaluation environment site and give responses to questions and get scores or ‘credits’ in proportion to information function measures of their specific information contribution to the questions posed.
The objective of QRECT is a full system for the management of information and communications between an instructor and a class. This can be accomplished using a WiFi connection between an instructor’s laptop computer and handheld mobile wireless devices like the iPod Touch. Once they’ve signed on, our system allows the students to submit a keyed response to a question or prompt, and the instructor to see all responses on the laptop as a matrix of responses with names and problem numbers as rows and columns.
How It Works
When signing on to the QRECT system, a student can input their seat number or, in the case of distance education, the site from which they are responding. This allows the computer to ‘take attendance’ and give associated credit or deduct for lateness. It not only shows the list of attending (signed on) students by name but also shows the seat numbers to the instructor, thus allowing each student to be addressed by name even in large, lecture-type classes.
When exams or quizzes are given, the instructor can watch the students’ responses in real-time and see if there is a problem with a particular question and make a correction to the students. The exam results may be immediately available to each student so they know their score as soon as they leave the exam.
Homework can be submitted to the site outside the classroom and then graded automatically so that when class next convenes, the instructor can respond to the students’ efforts with homework grades and responses as part of a daily grade which includes attendance and in-class questions. With default credits for each component of the course, the entire management of grading the course would then be automatic and transparent to the students, parents, and instructors.
Using the expert consensus technique, our computer algorithms can be employed to perform exceptionally detailed analysis of the responses and actually estimate the correct answers to those questions that are not ambiguous and not too difficult for the class.
To provide the greatest possible ease of management, questions can be typed into the system ahead of time or on the spot. The set of questions that result from the delivery of classes, along with the detailed statistical analysis and ratings, will constitute a valuable output of the system for use by others especially when correlated with demographic profiles and with other normed question sets. Optionally, our algorithms provide for the ratings of the value and pertinence of questions by experts. The algorithms for such ratings are also self adjusting in the weight given to each evaluator based upon their standard deviations from the group of evaluators as a whole.
The system is designed to collect responses for the activities of
- class participation
- exams and quizzes
- demographic data collection
Finally, the system can also allow more extensive responses the length of a paragraph, a page, or an entire paper, for review and evaluation by the instructor, other students, or outside evaluators.