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The use of STACK for formative and summative assessment

This learning and teaching innovation project was funded by the Teaching Development Fund (Shape) in 2021/22.

Project status

In progress


Project started on 1 Aug 2022

Project Leader: Dr Frances Laughton, Physics.

This project, which was awarded funding by the Teaching Development Fund (TDF) Shape, aims to evaluate the use of the STACK computer aided assessment (CAA) system for assessment and feedback.

With planning to make significant changes to assessment and feedback for Years 1 and 2 of our Department of Physics courses through curriculum transformation, including using computer aided assessment (CAA), this project will trial the use of the STACK automated e-assessment system to support these innovations. STACK will be used for formative and/or summative assessment of Year 1 Physics units during 2022/23, with our learning from this project informing its implementation in our post-CT courses from 2023/24 onwards. The project will enable a better understanding of how to derive the maximum benefit from this system for our students and staff, by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of our assessment and feedback processes, and using it to support assessment for learning throughout our courses.

Anticipated outcomes:

  1. clear plan for how to implement the use of STACK within our Department of Physics post-CT courses, informed by the results of this trial during 2022/23. By undertaking this trial, we expect to gain a better understanding of: o The technical capabilities and limitations of the system, including how the different types of questions can best support assessment and feedback within our courses, the benefits and any issues of its integration with Moodle, and the benefits and any issues arising from how the system is hosted; o How our students engage with the system, including how accessible they find it, and what they perceive to be its main benefits and drawbacks; o How our staff engage with the system, including how easy they find it to author questions, and their views on how we can use it most effectively within our courses.

  2. Increased awareness and understanding more widely across the University about the potential uses and benefits of STACK for assessment and feedback; this would include colleagues in the Mathematics Resources Centre (MASH) and the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team, as well as other academic departments.

Dr Frances Launghton will aim to report back in Summer 2023.