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So far, the general pedagogical rationale and advantages of CBA have been analysed. However, there are some significant limitations and drawbacks of using CBA which should be considered (Inoue, 1996), but that can be overcome or accommodated with a little forethought. These are mostly related to the provision of the infrastructure and equipment for the introduction of computers in assessment. Since these are often outside the immediate control of the individual, they will need to be resolved and acted upon at the departmental or institutional level if they are perceived to be serious enough to prevent development of computer assessments. There are key issues in assessment, which differentiates between the assessment system, or infrastructure, and the functions, types, and technology for delivery of assessment. In an individual situation, it is often the infrastructure which imposes the most significant obstacle to the introduction and development of new CBAs. Huges (1996) argues that special attention must be afforded to the following principles when considering CBA:

  • Function of assessment

    • Formative: Course assessment

    • Summative: Diagnostic assessment

  • Types of assessment

  • The assessment process, for example, multiple-choice questions, use of pictures, problem solving, essays, practical work

  • Technology

    • Using technology as a tool for assessment, for example, spreadsheet mode, hypertext "essay", and so forth

    • Using technology to assess, for example, delivering tests, marking tests

  • Assessment system

  • Collate/disseminate and analyse course and assessment information


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