A comparative study between a computer-based and a mobile-based assessment

Stavros A. Nikou (School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Glasgow, UK)
Anastasios A. Economides (Interdepartmental Programme of Postgraduate Studies in Information Systems, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 5 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare the overall usability and user experience of desktop computers and mobile-devices when used in a summative assessment in the context of a higher education course.

Design/methodology/approach

The study follows a between-groups design. The participants were 110 first-year undergraduate students from a European university. Students in the experimental group participated in the assessment using mobile devices, whereas students in the control group participated using desktop computers. After the assessment, students self-reported their experiences with computer-based assessment (CBA) and mobile-based assessment (MBA), respectively. The instruments used were the user experience questionnaire and the system usability scale.

Findings

Attractiveness and novelty were reported significantly higher in the experimental group (MBA), while no significant differences were found between the two groups in terms of efficiency, perspicuity, dependability and stimulation. The overall score for the system usability was not found to differ between the two conditions.

Practical implications

The usability and user experience issues discussed in this study can inform educators and policymakers about the potential of using mobile devices in online assessment practices, as an alternative to desktop computers.

Originality/value

The study is novel, in that it provides quantitative evidence for the usability and user experience of both desktop computers and mobile devices when used in a summative assessment in the context of a higher education course. Study findings can contribute towards the interchangeable usage of desktop computers and mobile devices in assessment practices in higher education.

Keywords

Citation

Nikou, S. and Economides, A. (2019), "A comparative study between a computer-based and a mobile-based assessment", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ITSE-01-2019-0003

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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