• Ontology-based e-assessment for accounting: outcomes of a pilot study and future prospects

      Litherland, Kate; Carmichael, Patrick; Martinez-Garcia, Agustina; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2013-04-23)
      This article reports on a pilot of a novel ontology-based e-assess- ment system in accounting that draws on the potential of emerging semantic technologies to produce an online assessment environ- ment capable of marking students’ free-text answers to questions of a conceptual nature. It does this by matching their response with a ‘‘concept map’’ or ‘‘ontology’’ of domain knowledge expressed by subject specialists. The system used, OeLe, allows not only for marking, but also for feedback to individual students and teachers about student strengths and weaknesses, as well as to whole cohorts, thus providing both a formative and a summative assess- ment function. This article reports on the results of a ‘‘proof of con- cept’’ trial of OeLe, in which the system was implemented and evaluated outside its original development environment (an online course in education being used instead in an undergraduate course in financial accounting. It describes the potential affordances and demands of implementing ontology-based assessment in account- ing, together with suggestions of what needs to be done if such approaches are to be more widely implemented.