Open Access

The Role of Digital, Formative Testing in e-Learning for Mathematics: A Case Study in the Netherlands

  • Dirk T. Tempelaar1Email author,
  • Boudewijn Kuperus1,
  • Hans Cuypers2,
  • Henk van der Kooij3,
  • Evert van de Vrie4 and
  • André Heck5
RUSC, Universities and Knowledge Society Journal20129:9010284

DOI: 10.7238/rusc.v9i1.1272

Received: 15 July 2011

Accepted: 15 November 2011

Published: 15 January 2012

Abstract

Repeated formative, diagnostic assessment lies at the heart of student-centred learning, providing students with a continuous stream of information on the mastery of different topics and making suggestions to optimize the choice of subsequent learning activities. When integrated into a system of e-learning, formative assessment can make that steering information instantaneous, which is a crucial aspect for feedback in student-centred learning. This empirical study of the role of formative assessment in mathematics e-learning focuses on the important merit of integrating these assessments into a system of state or national testing. Such tests provide individual students with crucial feedback for their personal learning, teachers with information for instructional planning, and curriculum designers with information on the strengths and weaknesses in the mastery states of students in the program and the need to accommodate any shortcomings. Lastly, they provide information on the quality of education at state or national level and a means to monitor its development over time. We shall provide examples of these merits based on data from the national project ONBETWIST, part of the Dutch e-learning program Testing and Test-Driven Learning.

Keywords

interim assessment bridging education mathematics heterogeneous international education mathematics program reforms