Integrating competence models with knowledge space theory for assessment


  • Onjira Sitthisak
  • Lester Gilbert


A model for the interactions in an assessment to support learning identifies the need for response options and for contingent feedback, both of which pose problems when computer-aided. The “Knowledge Space Theory (KST)” model of the domain “problems” provides some opportunity for response options. The “Competence Based Assessment (COMBA)” model of the required knowledge provides some opportunity for relevant feedback. KST has been developed to incorporate skills and competencies and the result is called Competence Knowledge Space (ComKos). The assignment of skills to learning objects allows the realisation of a personalised learning path by selecting appropriate learning objects given a learner's competence state and learning goal.


The paper explores ComKoS, a model which integrates both approaches, and identifies key benefits and some disadvantages. This model is provided for domain and learner knowledge representation which constitutes the basis for meaningful learning paths adapted to the learners’ knowledge state. We introduce IMS QTI and its application for managing, verifying, and delivering e-assessments. This paper proposes an implementation of ComKos within Moodle which delivers assessments using an IMS QTI-compliant application. This implementation enhances adaptability, interoperability, portability, and reusability of e-assessments. Key benefits of the implementation are identified and suggestions for future work are provided.