Although a variety of online assessment systems (OAS) have been proposed in the past few years, most of these systems are result-driven that focused on the assessment results only, they are not able to ensure effective learning of the students. In other words, the existing online assessments are basically equivalent to pen-and-paper assessment with questions prepared by the teachers.
The existing OAS is simply employed as a tool for teachers to perform online assessment but not a tool for students' learning. Just like written assessment, this is a unidirectional assessment that is guided by teacher. This does not make full use of the information technology. In other words, existing OAS is basically equivalents to written assessment. It is still devoid of measurements of student's learning effectiveness. As a result, student-centred assessment system with parameterized question approach should be introduced to solve these problems.
In this project, different programming language, Database Management System, texting mining tools and wordnet have been studied and the final configuration are listed below. The details are described in the following:
JSP chosen as the programming language of the project is twofold. Since JSP is part of the Java technology family and shares similar programming syntax with java program, it is easier for me to employ this programming language in this project. Moreover, JSP technology allows web developers to create dynamically generated web pages with html and xml which is a crucial part in developing the online assessment system.
Background research on the database management system was performed to see which systems best suit this current project. Features between PostgreSQL, MySQL and Oracle 9 were compared. At last, MySQL Server was employed for its free and robust database management system which will contribute to my database management.
Text-mining tool such as the part of speech tagger and wordnet must be applied in order to generate question of a proper English text. A number of text-mining tool and wordnet API had been studied before the development of the question generating system. At last, Stanford POS Tagger was decided to use in this project. One of the most important reasons is the 97.28% accuracy tagging the correct and unknown words. Moreover, Java library and API are also provided in detail which is easier to use and has a high extensibility in its feature. However, it is true that the higher the accuracy, more time is need for tagging the sentence. Rita Wordnet is selected because it is open source and freely available over the internet. It is java library that can be integrated with my system easily. At the same time the API can provide adequate method to retrieve lexical data easily which is useful in generating English grammar question.
The online assessment system is based on client server architecture. It consists of two major modules: the central web server which acts as the repository for data stored and the system services provider. The web server is accessed in the client side by the web browser. The web server is the core module of the system which provides the following main tasks: database connection, authentication, questions generation, giving feedback and generating summary reports. The online assessment system architecture is shown below: