Concepts for E-Assessments in STEM on the Example of Engineering Mechanics: How to assess complex engineering problems electronically

Markus Orthaber, Dominik Stütz, Thomas Antretter, Martin Ebner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss if and how it is possible to develop meaningful e-assessments in Engineering Mechanics. The focus is on complex example problems, resembling traditional paper-pencil exams. Moreover, the switch to e-assessments should be as transparent as possible for the students, i.e., it shouldn\t lead to additional difficulties, while still maintaining sufficiently high discrimination indices for all questions. Example problems have been designed in such a way, that it is possible to account for a great variety of inputs ranging from graphical to numerical and algebraic as well as string input types. Thanks to the implementation of random variables it is even possible to create an individual set of initial values for every participant. Additionally, when dealing with complex example problems errors carried forward have to be taken into account. Different approaches to do so are detailed and discussed, e.g., pre-defined paths for sub-questions, usage of students\ previous inputs or decision trees. The main finding is that complex example problems in Engineering Mechanics can very well be used in e-assessments if the design of these questions is well structured into meaningful sub-questions and errors carried forward are accounted for.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-152
Number of pages17
Journal International journal emerging technologies in learning : iJET
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Kassel University Press GmbH.


  • Engineering Mechanics
  • e-assessment
  • STEM
  • higher education
  • complex problems

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