Dr. Tom Payne, Chairperson
Dr. Mart Molle
Dr. Christian Shelton
The Thesis of Titus Delafayette Winters is approved:
I would like to acknowledge Dave Sheldon and Keri Nishimoto, the most important users of Agar: your input was invaluable. I would like to thank the undergrads who have contributed to the project: Eric Harris, Steve Bui, Ed Levie, and Vinh Lam. I would like to thank Dr. Geoff Kuenning, who gave me my first grading job. I would like to thank Dan Berger for his input on a draft of this document and continual wisdom regarding development. Most importantly, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Tom Payne, for his support on what once seemed like a small project.
Over the past year the author has experimented with various approaches to Computer-Aided Assessment (CAA) ranging from custom shell-scripts for grading assignments to a complex GUI-based framework capable of handling Optical Mark Recognition and subjective grading of essay questions. The pros and cons of each approach are presented, focusing on barriers to adoption, level of tolerance to unexpected submission behavior, applicability in non-programming domains, and required user competency. An analysis of design requirements for a sufficiently general framework for CAA, based on the author's development experience, is presented, followed by a discussion of a system built to meet those requirements - called Agar - and improvements planned for Agar2.