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Use of ICT in assessment
This page contains the findings of systematic reviews undertaken by review groups linked to the EPPI Centre

Creative and critical thinking skills [1]

High-weight findings were:

  • Computer based concept mapping with automated scoring can be used for summative assessment of critical and creative thinking about complex relationships.
  • The use of ICT can help teachers by storing and recording information about how students are developing understanding of new material; and by taking over some of the role of assessing and providing feedback to students so that teachers can focus on other aspects of supporting learning.
  • Feedback from the computer during the use of test material improves student performance in later use of the same test material.
  • Several studies showed that interacting with a computer provides feedback that supports better performance even if this only reflects back to the students the moves and links they made in a visual representation of relationships.

The following findings provide medium-weight evidence and should thus be treated more cautiously:

  • Use of computers to assess teamwork did not provide evidence that aspects of collaboration result in increased problem solving (as measured by computer-based knowledge mapping).
  • Using technology probed students' understanding to a greater degree than conventional tests.
  • Automated collection and scoring of the processes used in problem solving provided additional information relevant to problem-solving performance.
  • Using a computer program both to test and give feedback to students can increase the level of performance as compared with students taking the same tests on paper.
  • Use of a computer program involving diagrammatic representation provided useful information about students' causal reasoning thinking through analysis of their diagrams, but not from the log files of their computer moves.
  • Computers were shown to provide information about processes in reaching a solution that gives additional feedback to students and teachers.
  • Students' experience with computers and attitude towards them can influence computer-based test performance.
  • A conventional multiple-choice test gave a false impression of understanding compared with the analysis of multimedia presentations on the same topic.
  • Subject matter used in computer assessment of problem solving affected the outcome for girls more than boys.
  • The performance of middle-school students was not improved by training in the use of computer graphics aimed at helping them make meaning of new material.
  • There was conflicting evidence from two studies relating to the impact on performance of using the web to search for information.


1. A systematic review of the impact on students and teachers of the use of ICT for assessment of creative and critical thinking skills (2003)


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