Most use of multimedia technology in teaching and learning to date has emphasised the teaching aspect only. An application of multimedia in examinations has been neglected. In this paper, we present a prototype of multimedia question bank, which is able to handle questions consisting not only text but also images, video recordings, etc. We also describe retrieval techniques, and show some sample results.
One issue in automatisation of student assessment is the availability of question banks. Multimedia question banks typically consist of questions with multimedia features. This means that the questions can be presented not only in text, but also in any other forms, eg, images, video. Furthermore, some questions can be grouped and they refer to a common object (ie, image, video). For example, in the database there are ten questions which are based on the same video recording. A major problem arises when only a few of these questions are selected. A decision must be made whether to present the object as a whole or only parts of the object which directly relate to the questions. If the object is large, such as a video recording of 30 minutes, and only two or three questions are selected from this recording, it would be wiser if only relevant segments of the recording are played. Presenting the whole recording will not only distract, but also confuse examinees.
Choosing which part(s) of the object to accompany the selected questions has become a non-trivial task. Our approach is to use the object oriented technology which provides a feature of message passing from one object to another. In this way, the selected questions only need to send a message to the object, and let the relevant object partition and construct the segments to be presented together with the questions. This technique works because an object is stored as an aggregate of its components, not as an unbreakable unit. Our previous work (Taniar and Rahayu, 1995) discussed the storage and retrieval techniques of multimedia questions in great detail.
In this paper, we would like to present a prototype of a multimedia question bank. The rest of this paper is organised as follows. Section 2 describes the structure of multimedia questions. Section explains how to retrieve questions from the database. Section 4 presents some sample results, and finally, Section 5 gives a conclusion.
Figure 1: Multimedia questions
Spatial objects are static. They can be presented on x and y axis, or columns and rows. Some examples include images, graphics, text, etc. When the object does not fit into the provided space, a scroll bar is shown to enable users to scroll the object.
Multi point questions have reference to several sections of an object: The referred sections can be in serial or at random. Serial multi point questions associate with a series of adjacent sections. If it is in a temporal object, the sections are contiguous. However, in a spatial object, adjacent sections can be clustered based on columns or rows. On the other hand, random multi point questions link with several sections of an object in random order. In an extreme case, a question refers to the starting point and ending point of a recording. Therefore, when this question is selected, all parts of the recording must be played. This similar technique applies to spatial objects as well.
Figure 2: Spatial object - music score
If the music is played, rather than displayed, the object becomes a temporal object. Figure 3 shows an example of a temporal object. The object itself is a video recording of an orchestra playing Beethoven Symphony No. 5. It is not possible to represent temporal objects on paper. Rather a moment of the recording is shown, where the orchestra is in action. The questions, which will be viewed by clicking the "Question" button, are suitable to test the listening comprehension of students studying at a conservatorium of music.
Figure 3: Temporal object - music recording
In our prototype, each object part has a set of properties, ie., title, topic. Users are able to do a search based on information contained in these properties. Figure 4 shows an example of question retrieval based on objects. In this example, the user is able to search an object on a particular title. Once the object is found, all related questions will also be retrieved.
Figure 4: Property based object retrieval
If the number of objects in the database is small, searching can be done through a complete browsing of all objects. Once the objects are selected, the associated questions are then presented and chosen, as associated questions have been implemented as an aggregate of the object parts. Therefore, each object has a number of corresponding questions. Figure 5 shows a number of objects to be manually selected by double clicking a desired object. The title of the object itself appears at the top of each object.
Figure 5: Object browsing
Figure 6: Property based question retrieval
Figure 7: Questions browsing
Another retrieval technique is based on database browsing. Users are presented with a complete list of questions in the database. The user can select a particular topic, and then within each topic, the questions can further be selected and chosen. This technique will be very useful when combined with the object based retrieval, as the object based searching lists an object. Based on the selected object, a number of questions can be chosen either manually or randomly. Figure 7 shows an example of question browsing retrieval technique. Once the questions are selected, the accompanying objects are also retrieved. This mechanism is possible because each question is attached to an object.
Figure 8: Multi point serial questions
Figure 9 shows an example of multi point random questions. Question 3 refers to the instruments playing on the few first bars on the symphony (in this case, they are Clarinet, Violin I and 2, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass). Question 4 refers to the Clarinet and Violin I sections. Both questions 3 and 4 are multi point random questions, because they refer to two or more different types of instrument which are not adjacent.
Figure 9: Multi point random questions
Future work includes finalising technical details of the system. It is also planned to have a useability testing of the system when available.
Dillon, T., and Tan, P-L. (1993). Object Oriented Conceptual Modelling, Prentice Hall of Australia Pty Ltd.
Gemmell, D. J, Vin, H. M., Kandlur, D. D., Rangan, P. V, and Rowe, L. A. (1995). Multimedia Storage Servers: A Tutorial. IEEE Computer, May 1995, IEEE Computer Society.
Grosky, W. I. (1994). Multimedia Information Systems. IEEE Multimedia, Spring 1994, IEEE Computer Society.
Rahayu, J. W, and Chang, E. (1993). A Methodology for Transforming an Object Oriented Data Model to a Relational Model. Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference TOOLS Pacific, Melbourne.
Rahayu, W., Chang, E., and Dillon, T. S. (1995a). A Methodology for the Design of Relational Databases from Object Oriented Conceptual Models Incorporating Collection Types. Proceedings of the TOOLS18 Pacific, Melbourne.
Rahayu, W., Chang, E., and Dillon, T. S. (1995b). Transformation of Object Oriented Collection Types into Relational Logical Models. Industrial and Poster Paper Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Object Oriented and Entity Relationship Modelling, Gold Coast.
Smoliar, S. W., and Zhang, H-J. (1994). Content Based Video Indexing and Retrieval. IEEE Multimedia, Summer 1994, IEEE Computer Society.
Taniar, D. (1992). Unifying Object Oriented Features with Database Technology: A Survey, Masters Thesis, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.
Taniar, D., and Rahayu, W. (1995). Multimedia Question Banks: Storage and Retrieval Techniques. Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, ASCILITE'95, Melbourne.
|Authors: David Taniar|
Department of Information Studies
Swinburne University of Technology
Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Please cite as: Taniar, D. and Rahayu, W. (1996). Automatisation of student assessment using multimedia technology. In J. G. Hedberg, J. Steele and S. McNamara (eds), Learning Technologies: Prospects and Pathways, 159-167. Selected papers from EdTech'96. Canberra: AJET Publications. http://www.aset.org.au/confs/edtech96/taniar.html