Digital assessment and the “machine”

Shai Olsher*, Daniel Chazan, Paul Drijvers, Chris Sangwin, Michal Yerushalmy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter, we explore assessment that is performed automatically by the digital environment, what might be called assessment “through technology.” Based on experience with the design of three innovative content-specific automatic assessment platforms, the main goal of the chapter is to exemplify design considerations to map the development of digital assessments. These digital platforms use various methods to assess mathematics through student’s interaction with digital learning resources. We address the fit between an assessment’s task design and its goals, the analysis of student work by the platform, and the report that is then produced. We want tasks to offer opportunities for students to express mathematical ideas, to take advantage of the opportunities provided by automatic assessment, as well as to meet the goals of assessments. In writing tasks, designers must also take into account two other design considerations: How can the digital assessment platform interpret and analyze student work in variable and flexible ways? How can the platform “make sense” of student work, so as to be able to generate feedback or to report on learning achievements? What are the ways in which insights from this analysis will be made accessible and to whom? Taken together, examination of the design of the tasks given to students to collect data, how that data is analyzed by the machine, and how the machine reports on that analysis allows us to map current digital assessment practices. We close by emphasizing the importance of continued engagement of the mathematics education community with the design of digital assessment platforms because mathematics education stakeholders bring with them a content-specific focus on higher-level thinking in mathematics and on students’ conceptions and misconceptions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Digital Resources in Mathematics Education
EditorsBirgit Pepin, Ghislaine Gueudet, Jeff Choppin
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-95060-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameSpringer International Handbooks of Educatio
ISSN (Print)2197-1951
ISSN (Electronic)2197-196X


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