Unsupervised summative e-assessment for higher order skills of large groups

Name of Researcher Hakim Usoof
Title of PhD Thesis Summative eAssessment for Higher Order Skills of Students in Large Groups.

University Umeå University, Sweden
Department Applied Educational Sciences (Institutionen för Tillämpad Utbildningsvetenskap)

Start date of Studies 1st March 2007
Planned date of Completion December 2011
Time spent in Sweden as at Dec 2010 18.5 months
Time spent in Dundee, Scotland as an Exchange Student 3.5 months

This research study is focussed on creating an authentic, valid and reliable assessment model for the BIT degree programme.

The study focuses on both Technological and Pedagogical approaches of solving the issue of Assessment. The technological part of the study considers Keystroke Dynamics as a means of Bio-metric Identification to address the issue of Plagiarism and also Technological aids such as Forums as means of authentic, reliable and valid e-Assessment. The Pedagogical part considers the Learners perspective in Design of Assessment and negating Plagiarism.

The study is broken into a set of sub studies that integrate to form the final outcome. A study of individuals and their Keystroke Patterns were conducted to verify if there was a pattern that existed that could be used as a Bio-metric Identifier. A survey was carried out on 1st Year BIT students to gather the Learner perspective on the Assessment process in order and this was used to design the Multimedia Integrated Formative Peer Assessment (MIFPA) Model. The aim of this study is to examine the impact the MIFPA Model has on the student learning, the learning process and students’ attitudes. Student learning is researched by the study of their outcomes of learning. The Learning process will be research according the concept of Assessment for Learning. The study will be based on the BIT second semester courses. These courses require the use of different levels of Higher Order thinking and an Evaluation of the Online Forums of the BIT VLE were used in context of the MIFPA model to ascertain and assess students to compare it with their performance in the Final examination results, assignment results, learning process, student learning and attitudes.

Research Questions

  1. What is the impact of the MIFPA model on the learning process, student learning and students’ attitudes?
  2. What is the impact of the MIFPA model in assessing students with different levels of competence and different attitudes?
  3. How can candidates be verified and what measures can be taken to minimize plagiarism?


The methods used would be a quantitative data analysis of the data obtained from different systems, the study programme and questionnaires & interviews. Questionnaires would be given to students at the beginning and at the end of the course to ascertain the individuals’ attitudes towards assessment & the learning process. A questionnaire to ascertain the affect of the MIFPA model will also be given to students of the test group who worked with the MIFPA model. Interviews would be carried out to further verify these findings. The students’ performance at the course end examination and their performance in the MIFPA model too will be as a source of data to measure the effect of the MIFPA model on learning. The relationship between students’ competences and the MIFPA model will be queried in respect to students’ performance, experience and attitudes. The MIFPA model will be given to only a randomly selected group of volunteer students and an equally competent set of the students will act as a control group. In addition there are two milestones in the BIT study programme, which are the Assignment 1 and 2. The number of attempts and the marks obtain by the students in the test group and the control group will also be use as data for the analysis.


Papers published & presented:

  • Who is Who and doing What in distance education? Authentication and keystroke dynamics. Hakim Usoof & Eva Lindgren
  • Usoof, H. & Lindgren, E. (2008). Who is Who and doing What in distance education? Authentication and keystroke dynamics. Tidskrift nr 3-4 2008, p173 - 187
  • Improving student learning through assessment for learning using social media and e-Learning 2.0 on a distance education degree programme in Sri Lanka. Hakim Usoof & Gihan Wickramanayake
  • Studying writing profiles with keystroke dynamics using fuzzy logic and statistics. Hakim Usoof, Eva Lindgren, Roshan Yapa & Nishantha Karunarathne
  • Usoof, H., Hudson, B. & Lindgren, E. (2010). Plagiarism: Catalysts and Not so Simple Solutions. In K. Sullivan, P. Czigler & J. Sullivan Hellgren (Eds.), Summary of Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices: Successes, Challenges and Issues. Hershey PA, USA: IGI Global.


  • Emerging pieces in the Education Puzzle, 2007 - Skellefteå
  • e-Learning Africa, 2007 - Örebro
  • EdReNe Workshop 2008, Brussels
  • Online Educa 2007, Berlin
  • SigWriting 2008, Lund (Paper presented)
  • IITC 2008, Colombo
  • ECER 2009, Vienna (Paper presented)
  • EARLI 2009, Amsterdam (Paper presented)
  • eAsia, 2009, Colombo