UX challenges for Computer-Based Assessment

What is it about?

Computer-based assessment (CBA) refers to the usage of computers instead of paper and pencil for testing purposes. In Luxembourg, CBA is used in a school monitoring system which aims to evaluate the knowledge and motivation of 7th and 9th-grade students every year at the beginning of each new learning cycle.

Why is it important?

In the same way, education is undergoing a digital transformation so will the assessment of students. CBA opens new perspectives for innovation in testing and assessment such as the design of interactive multimedia items.

What are the challenges?

CBA’s which are designed without addressing children’s needs, knowledge and capabilities with the computer will bias the performance outcomes in an assessment. This can be caused by a combination of factors such as the child’s previous experience with computers or even the social context in which the interaction takes place.

What is our approach?

Within this project, a mixed-methods approach is put into action along with the User-centred design process. The following methods will be used and adapted to the young audience:

  • Naturalistic observation in the classroom during the assessment
  • Co-creation to get inspiration for developing new and interactive item formats
  • Questionnaires and Scale design adapted to child population (e.g. nodding heads)
  • User tests to evaluate prototypes iteratively

Those methods cover a wide spectrum of design and evaluation methods and will provide us with insights into the child’s perception and needs regarding a CBA system.

What are expected outcomes and impacts?

The insights will help designing fair and fun assessments for children, and by that help to monitor and adjust national educational policies. Partner in this project is the Luxembourg Centre for Educational Testing (LUCET) and the French Ministry of Education (Direction de l’évaluation, de la prospective et de la performance) in France.


Contact person for further questions: Florence Kristin Lehnert

child taking assessment on tablet