Many universities still rely on paper and pencil exams to assess their students. Manually grading these exams is not only very labor intensive, the nature of the task is rather monotonous, and the time that graders spend on correcting exams rather than on research or student interaction.
The shortcomings of conventional assessment can be overcome through modern technology, in particular by using computers and automated grading. However, most of the current methods of automated grading rely heavily on the use of multiple choice questions making many critics believe that more sophisticated question types cannot be handled by computers.
I‘m convinced that the substance of a question is independent from the medium in which it is asked and answered and that every possible type of question can be asked, answered, and graded digitally. To turn this vision into reality, I founded a startup to develop a Wolfram Language based authoring tool for any kind of assessment and courseware.
For the Wolfram Summer School 2016 I picked a project to create a new question type that allows all kinds of interactivity. By combining the capabilities of DynamicModule and FormFunction, I created a framework to connect customized dynamic interfaces like mini calculators, maps, plots, and graphics with assessment questions and retrieve the answers given. To use this framework for web based exams and tests, the questions are deployed as CloudObjects.