DNP and OUJ in Cooperation with Microsoft Japan Commence Empirical Research into Digital Test Learning Management System

Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) and Professor Nakagawa of The Open University of Japan (OUJ), in cooperation with Microsoft Japan Co., Ltd. (Microsoft Japan), will commence empirical research on a learning management system at multiple schools in Suginami-Ku and other areas of Tokyo. The system is designed to support personal instruction by teachers, by digitalizing the tests used in schools on a daily basis, and making it easier to tabulate and analyze test answers.

[Empirical Research]

Empirical research will be conducted at multiple schools in Suginami-Ku and other areas, using tablet terminals to conduct the standard classroom tests. The contents use digitized data of tests created by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, so as to make it possible to input answers on tablet terminals. When pupils input their answers on the terminal, test scores will be automatically calculated, allowing the results to be confirmed as data. By accumulating this data, it will be possible for teachers to be aware, on a daily basis, of the weaknesses and tendencies of individual pupils, or even entire classes. So far, regular testing, such as end of term exams, has not revealed such tendencies. Looking ahead, using these learning results, it is also planned to conduct empirical research on a learning system designed to heighten the personal instruction effect, by automatically proposing teaching materials tailor made to the needs of each individual pupil.

In this latest round of empirical research, DNP, in conjunction with Professor Nakagawa's team, will acquire the test data, and perform a thorough analysis of the contents. This will include considering both the pupil's answers, as well as the time taken to complete them, as a way of visualizing both pupil efforts, and their mistakes.

Based on the results of this research, DNP and Professor Nakagawa's team plan to engage in further research driven by this data, concerning new instruction formats and pupil development.

[Digital Test Learning Management System Summary]

The research will use the digital test learning management system developed by DNP. This system digitalizes tests so as to allow pupils to input their answers on a tablet terminal, and can even be used with figure drawing. Answers can be automatically marked, with the exception of those to certain styles of questions, and the results processed as data. Compared to existing paper-based marking, there are expectations that the new system will make it possible for teachers, who are busy with numerous school activities, to reduce test-based workloads, including inputting and tabulating the results. Visualizing tabulated results in a graph format, on an individual pupil or class-based format, and then documenting the pupil's learning status, will allow teachers to understand the pupil's weaknesses or other tendencies. As a result, in addition to experiential or intuitive-based instruction, data-driven instruction will also become possible. It is also expected that presenting such data to parents and guardians at parent-teacher sessions, will also make it easier to explain their children's progress at school. And by setting defaults for such information as exam units and question difficulty, it will become possible to automatically propose teaching materials that match each pupil. As a result, it will be easier to conduct personal instruction.

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