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Title: Framework to manage labels for e-assessment of diagrams
Authors: Jayal, Ambikesh
Advisors: Shepperd, M
Keywords: E-learning;E-assessment;Automated marking;Electronic assessment;Syntax mapping;Diagram matching;Semantic mapping;Configurable extensible framework
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Brunel University, School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics
Abstract: Automatic marking of coursework has many advantages in terms of resource benefits and consistency. Diagrams are quite common in many domains including computer science but marking them automatically is a challenging task. There has been previous research to accomplish this, but results to date have been limited. Much of the meaning of a diagram is contained in the labels and in order to automatically mark the diagrams the labels need to be understood. However the choice of labels used by students in a diagram is largely unrestricted and diversity of labels can be a problem while matching. This thesis has measured the extent of the diagram label matching problem and proposed and evaluated a configurable extensible framework to solve it. A new hybrid syntax matching algorithm has also been proposed and evaluated. This hybrid approach is based on the multiple existing syntax algorithms. Experiments were conducted on a corpus of coursework which was large scale, realistic and representative of UK HEI students. The results show that the diagram label matching is a substantial problem and cannot be easily avoided for the e-assessment of diagrams. The results also show that the hybrid approach was better than the three existing syntax algorithms. The results also show that the framework has been effective but only to limited extent and needs to be further refined for the semantic stage. The framework proposed in this Thesis is configurable and extensible. It can be extended to include other algorithms and set of parameters. The framework uses configuration XML, dynamic loading of classes and two design patterns namely strategy design pattern and facade design pattern. A software prototype implementation of the framework has been developed in order to evaluate it. Finally this thesis also contributes the corpus of coursework and an open source software implementation of the proposed framework. Since the framework is configurable and extensible, its software implementation can be extended and used by the research community.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
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Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Theses

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