Example 14

Actors: Lecturers, automatic feedback
Type: Tests, solving assignments

The feedback activity in brief
Application of Blackboard tests in different ways during a semester. The feedback provided was automatic online and from the lecturer and other students.

This feedback activity was applied in the course “K501 Grundlæggende Kemi” (K501 Basic Chemistry) at the Faculty of Engineering. This course is taught to first semester bachelor students in the Engineering programme of Chemical- and Biotechnology, as well as to first semester bachelor students in the Engineering programme of Chemical Engineering. There were approximately 50 students in the class.

The actual activity and its extent
During the semester three electronic tests were conducted via Blackboard.

Test 1 runs via Blackboard’s test tool, and it is constructed from a pool of questions. Each student receives different questions but all on the same level and on the same topics. The feedback is provided electronically in that the system shows which answers were correct and which were wrong and explains where more information about the topic can be found in the textbook.

Test 2 is designed as an assignment, where the students download an assignment, solve it and hand it in. A digital pen (or something like it) is used to solve the assignment as the students need to draw molecules, reaction mechanisms etc. Feedback is provided when assignments are reviewed during class. The students and lecturers take turns talking, and the different suggested solutions are discussed.

Test 3 is a mix of the feedback activities from tests 1 and 2, as this test consists of a Blackboard based test and an assignment.

PCs, digital pens and Internet are necessary to take the tests.

Experiences and assessment
It takes at least a couple of weeks for the teacher to construct the pool of questions for the activity, but then the questions can be used again and again, thus afterwards it only takes one hour (max.) to prepare test 1. The feedback is done automatically, which is why it only takes a couple of hours to make sure that the automatic score is correct.

The assignments for test 2 takes 1-2 days to prepare, marking takes 1-2 days and feedback takes 2-4 hours depending on the students’ level of activity and number of questions.

Test 3 is a combination of the above.

Evaluation: in which contexts will you recommend this feedback activity?

Suitable for classes of:

Test 1: >30 since it takes time to construct the pool of questions
Test 2: <50 since manual assessment takes time

Suitable for level:

Test 1: Bachelor
Test 2: All

Suitable for offline, online or both:  Both, since the students are not allowed to use the Internet while solving the assignment in test 2 and 3, but they need to download the assignment from the Internet. The Blackboard based test 1 and a part of test 3 are online activities.
Is the activity part of an assessment method? Yes
Is the activity part of the curriculum? No

K.B. Christensen and X. Fretté (2013) Løbende feedback ved elektroniske tests: Effekt på dybere læring? In 17 ting, du kan gøre ved din undervisning (17 things you can do with your teaching). R. Troelsen and L. Rienecker (ed.). Inspiration from Dansk Universitetspædagogisk Netværk conference 2012, p. 11-16.


For more information about VUF please contact:
SDU Centre for Teaching and Learning - Rie Troelsen -