In a recent survey the Learning and Teaching Support Network (LTSN) Generic Centre asked all subject centres to articulate the three most important issues on assessment in their subject. The LTSN Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research Network at the University of Birmingham responded as follows:
1. Issues in computer-aided assessment, which include reliability, robustness and ease of use. It should also apply to both formative and summative assessment in the forms of diagnostic, continuous and formal testing. There are at least two special issues for mathematics, which are applicable to other numerate disciplines such as science and engineering:
– display and input of mathematical expressions; for example, with powers and fractions that typically display over several lines; and
– equivalently right answers; for example, in mathematical terms x+y is the same as y+x and this would cause some difficulty if standard character matching techniques were employed as the only method for comparing answers.