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Thesis (M.Ed.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1998. Department of Curriculum and Instruction.


Copyright 1998, the author. Used by permission.


The advent of the World Wide Web and networked computers in the classroom has provided educators with a new opportunity for instruction and assessment. As students become more comfortable with the interactive nature of ‘surfing the Web’, it stands to reason that educators must begin to implement instructional strategies which take advantage of these newly acquired skills. This thesis documents my first steps in developing a network-based quiz application, an initial evaluation of the interface design, and a description of technical obstacles associated with this instructional approach.

The educational potential of network based teaching and assessment will continue to increase as educators become more adept at using the expanding number of creative tools and languages available. Although network-based quizzing has been around for numerous years, the ease and affordability of writing Web-documents using simple text editors provides instructors with an opportunity to create a customized learning experience for their students. Educators can further enhance Web-based instruction by incorporating JavaScript into their html documents to conveniently track and assess student interaction and progress.

I felt that one of the first steps to move toward Web-based instruction and assessment was to develop an html, JavaScript quiz application which could run on the most readily available web browser, Netscape Navigator. The advantage to developing my own quiz application is that it allowed me to incorporate a variety of tracking and assessment features which would make the application a strong tool in evaluating the student’s experience and performance. However, choosing to design the quiz application first also meant that the design of the interface primarily reflected my preferences; the algorithmic logic of a mathematics, computer science teacher.

The JavaScript code written for this quiz application is quite extensive and offers a solid look at the ‘hidden’ assessment features (see Appendix A). Therefore, the main focus of this thesis is the presentation of this quiz application and some of the features it includes. The brief student testing of the program was used simply to identify some of the basic issues concerning the interface design and the ‘bugs’ which often arise when implementing new technology tools. It is my hope that additional design improvements and further testing will enable me to test more thoroughly the potential benefit of this educational tool.

Advisor: David Fowler