Diagnostic mode

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This is a rough outline of an article. It might not use full sentences everywhere and probably won’t make much sense at the moment.


Want to administer a test to establish the student’s strengths and weaknesses, in as few questions as possible.


Slides from EAMS 2021 talk

Questions asked depend on the student’s answers to previous questions.

A “diagnostic” mode for exams. This adds:

  • A knowledge graph, consisting of topics and learning objectives. Topics are linked by “depends on” and “leads to” relations. Learning objectives collect many topics.

  • A diagnostic algorithm, written in a similar format to marking algorithms: a collection of declarative notes.

Each topic corresponds to a group of questions.

When running the exam, the diagnostic algorithm has a state object, which the algorithm is responsible for initialising and updating. This object can take any form.

The loop is:

  • Pick a question to show to the student.

  • When the student chooses to move on (this is usually after answering the question, but could be any time) give the student some options.

  • Each option nominates the next question, and an updated state object.

  • If there are no options, the exam ends.

During the exam the student is shown a feedback message, as well as a list of progress scores (in DIAGNOSYS, one for each learning objective).

After the exam ends, the student is shown a list of scores (in DIAGNOSYS, one for each learning objective) and a feedback message.

Previous work