Bridge tasks consist of one or more individual tasks that describe what the student is to do, usually in the form of a problem to solve. LON-CAPA supports the creation of multiple versions of each task, so that each student may receive a mix of randomly assigned tasks to perform. Students use LON-CAPA to view the bridge task. LON-CAPA supports the scheduling of BTs to restrict access by IP address range and to allow students to schedule slots of time to take a BT.
When students complete a BT, they upload files they have created for grading. Files are uploaded using LON-CAPA's portfolio system.
LON-CAPA supports the creation of scoring rubrics associated with each individual task to guide graders and ensure inter-rater reliability among multiple graders in a course. Instructors specify criteria to assign an overall score to a BT based on the scores of the individual rubrics.
BTs are used in Michigan State University's CSE 101 course. The course is designed to teach computer competencies by having students solve problems using a variety of computer software (MS-Word, MS-Excel, World Wide Web, and MS Access). In CSE 101, BTs are used for summative assessment, the majority of students' grades are based upon the BTs. Here, students must successfully pass a BT before attempting the next BT. A student's final course grade is based on the highest level BT passed. The CSE 101 class is quite large, approximately 2000 students per semester. Students may take up to one BT per week; typically there are over 14,000 BTs administered per semester. Thus there is a need to quickly and accurately access students. LON-CAPA successfully supports the load requirements.