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IJIET 2020 Vol.10(5): 356-361 ISSN: 2010-3689
doi: 10.18178/ijiet.2020.10.5.1389

Using e-Assessment to Address Mathematical Misconceptions in Engineering Students

Indunil Sikurajapathi, Karen Henderson, and Rhys Gwynllyw

Abstract—Students, when answering a mathematical question, may make a mistake in their answer for a variety of reasons. For example, not reading the question properly, making a mistake due to carelessness or due to a mathematical misconception. It is this latter category, which is of particular interest to us in this paper. When such mistakes occur in handwritten work then, in general, the teacher is able to identify the mistake(s) during the marking process and give written detailed feedback on the student’s script. The disadvantage of this approach is the time and effort it takes to mark and to get feedback back to the student. As a result, e-assessment is becoming a standard means of providing formative and summative assessment of mathematical techniques. The research problem that we have identified is how to detect mathematical misconceptions when students answer e-assessment questions incorrectly, and how to improve the feedback provided to the student in such cases. By analyzing students’ rough paper-based workings for an e-examination, we have captured mathematical misconceptions made by first year engineering students. This has enabled us to catalogue common student errors made by students. By amending the e-assessment feedback code, students who make these errors will subsequently benefit from enhanced, tailored feedback, highlighting the mathematical misconception/error made. In addition, detailed guidance on how to improve their knowledge related to the topic will be given. The aim of our work is to improve the e-assessment experience for students as well as addressing and tackling misconceptions in a timely fashion.

Index Terms—Common student errors, Dewis, e-assessment, engineering mathematics.

The authors are with the Department of Engineering Design and Mathematics, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom (e-mail: indunil.sikurajapathi@uwe.ac.uk, karen.henderson@uwe.ac.uk, rhys@gwynllyw.uwe.ac.uk ).


Cite: Indunil Sikurajapathi, Karen Henderson, and Rhys Gwynllyw, "Using e-Assessment to Address Mathematical Misconceptions in Engineering Students," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 10, no. 5, pp. 356-361, 2020.

Copyright © 2020 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

General Information

  • ISSN: 2010-3689 (Online)
  • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Inf. Educ. Technol.
  • Frequency: Monthly
  • DOI: 10.18178/IJIET
  • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Dr. Steve Thatcher
  • Executive Editor: Ms. Nancy Y. Liu
  • Abstracting/ Indexing: Scopus (CiteScore 2022: 2.0), INSPEC (IET), UGC-CARE List (India), CNKI, EBSCO, Google Scholar
  • E-mail: ijiet@ejournal.net


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