Multimodal E-assessment: An Empirical Study




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De Montfort University


Thesis or dissertation

Peer reviewed


Due to the availability of technology, there has been a shift from traditional assessment methods to e-assessment methods designed to support learning. With this development there is a need to address the suitability and effectiveness of the e-assessment interface. One development in the e-assessment interface has been the use of the multimodal metaphor. Unfortunately, the associated effectiveness of multimodality in terms of usability and its suitability in achieving assessment aims has not been fully addressed. Thus, there is a need to determine the impact of multimodality on the effectiveness of e-assessment and to reveal the benefits, primarily to the user. Moreover, those involved in the development and assessment should be aware of potential impacts and benefits. This thesis investigates the role and effectiveness of multimodal metaphors in e-assessment, specifically; the thesis assesses the effect of multimodal metaphors, alone or in combination, on usability in e-assessment. Usability includes efficiency, effectiveness and user satisfaction. The empirical research described in this study consisted of three experiments of 30 participants each to evaluate the effect of description text, avatars and images individually, avatars, description text and recorded speech in combination with images, and finally, the use of avatars with whole body gestures, earcons and auditory icons. The experimental stages were designed as a progression towards the main focus of the study, which was the effectiveness of full body gesture avatar, considered to be the latest development in multimodal metaphors. The experimentation also assessed the role that an avatar could play as a tutor in e-assessment interfaces. The results proved the positive effectiveness and applicability of metaphors to enhance e-assessment usability. This was achieved through a more effective interaction between the user and the assessment interface. A set of empirically derived guidelines for the design and use of these metaphors to enhance e-assessment is also used in order to generate more usable e-assessment interfaces



E-assessment, E-learning, Multimodal interaction, Usability, efficiency, Avatar



Research Institute