Assessing and Concluding Online Courses<br />By<br />Lynn, Susan and Jo<br />
What are the advantages of online assessment?<br />
Advantages for Learners<br />Technology empowers students to assess their own learning in their own time at their own pace.<br />Media-rich and diverse assessment formats available.<br />Assessment technology can help to buffer emotions.<br />Continued .....<br />
Advantages for Learners<br />Promotes student autonomy, self- direction and collaboration.<br />Feedback more timely, tailored and individualized.<br />Equal opportunity for students of all ages and locations to demonstrate their skills.<br />Technology choices can appeal to different learning styles.<br />
Advantages for Tutors<br />Assessment can be used to support learning, as well as certify achievement.<br />A range of assessment/feedback tools available e.g. screencasting, podcasting.<br />Self- and peer-assessment can be utilized. Continued .....<br />
Advantages for Tutors<br />Use of assessment software for tracking participation, running statistics, etc.<br />Computer-mediated marking and reporting may ease workload e.g. use of statement banks.<br />Results can be shared with others e.g. ePortfolios.<br />
Possible Disadvantages<br />Technological glitches, outages and downtime can militate against performance.<br />Susceptible to plagiarism and cheating (esp. if the assessment is high stakes).<br />Rubrics may be challenging to devise, and prone to subjectivity. Continued .....<br />
Possible Disadvantages<br />Difficult to assess individual contributions in collaborative tasks.<br />Students’ lack of computer and digital literacy may skew results.<br />
Golden Rules for Success <br />Clearly communicate course objectives and learning outcomes to students beforehand.<br />Indicate how written assignments, participation in discussions, and log on ‘attendance’ will count towards assessment. Continued ...<br />
Golden Rules for Success <br />Provide clear rubrics so that students will know how they are being assessed in terms of quality, quantity and frequency of postings.<br />
Two Broad Assessment Categories<br />Synchronous ... <br />Text chat and discussions<br />Video conferencing <br />- Debates<br />- Role plays<br />- Simulations<br />
Online quizzes (automated feedback)<br />Reflective journal entries <br />ePortfolios<br />Collaborative tasks and final projects<br />Discussion forum postings<br />... and Asynchronous<br />
Methods of Assessment: Synchronous<br /><ul><li>Quantity and quality of participation can be readily assessed by reviewing a video/audio recording or transcript.
Comprehension can be assessed continually with poll tools or with short answers in text chat.
Video conferencing allows learners to use the whiteboard for matching exercises, etc. </li></ul>Continued …<br />
Methods of Assessment: Synchronous<br /><ul><li>Breakout rooms can be used to record tasks on the whiteboard or on Wallwisher e.g. for intergroup comparison.
Individual participants can be assigned roles to prepare in advance e.g. for debates, which can then be assessed in real-time or recorded.</li></li></ul><li>Methods of Assessment: Asynchronous<br /><ul><li>Individual quantitative and qualitative assessment of forum posts, as well as participant feedback on posts.
Pair work and group work for collaborative tasks and mini-projects.
Diverse media (e.g. Vocaroo, MailVU, Glogster) can be used by the learner to document an assessed assignment.</li></li></ul><li>The Do’s of SynchronousAssessment<br />... Set up the activity clearly beforehand and communicate expectations.<br />... Ensure that the assessment criteria and rubrics are transparent.<br />... Devise a workable assessment instrument, e.g. a tick chart or checklist.<br />... Allow sufficient practice before the assessment event.<br />Continued .....<br />
The Do’s of Synchronous Assessment<br />... Facilitate equal participation, but without stifling the more active members.<br />... Ensure that participants stay on-task.<br />... Offer timely and constructive feedback (not just praise).<br />... Encourage peer- and self-assessment after the event.<br />
The Do’s of AsynchronousAssessment<br />Discussion forum postings:<br />... Consider whether (all) discussion forums need to be formally assessed.<br />... Provide a time frame for postings (and responses).<br />... Offer choice of tasks to motivate participants. Continued ...<br />
The Do’s of AsynchronousAssessment<br />Discussion forum postings:<br />... Consider providing samples of best practice for students beforehand.<br />... Ensure that the assessment criteria are transparent viz. quality, quantity, frequency, and interactive value of postings.<br />... Implement an assessment system which is not too labour-intensive. <br />Continued ...<br />
The Do’s of AsynchronousAssessment<br />Discussion forum postings:<br />... Make sure that lurkers are fully engaged in the process by emphasizing that interaction is also an evaluation criterion.<br />... Intervene in the discussion with strategic weaving where appropriate. <br />... Stay objective. <br />
Last but not least, consider that…<br />…the relative anonymity of online interaction and - by implication - assessment may be helpful for some.<br />
Ending the Course on a High Note<br />Why?<br /><ul><li>To celebrate achievements
To provide closure</li></li></ul><li>Activities for Rounding Off an Online Course<br />1. Wallwisher sticky notes...<br />... Best learning experience <br />... Piece of advice for future participants<br />... Most memorable online moment<br />... Six-word closing speech<br />
Activities for Rounding Off an Online Course<br />2. Parting gifts...<br />... Jokes <br />... Lesson tips<br />... Video clips<br />... Images<br />... Glogs<br />
Activities for Rounding Off an Online Course<br />3. Have a VLE party ....<br />Congratulations! You’ve passed!<br />
For the further research- oriented ....<br />http://www.cshe.uimelb.edu.au/assessinglearning/03/online.html<br />http://www.jusc.ac.uk/news/stories/2010/09/digiassess.aspx<br />http://www.emoderationskills.com/?p=88<br />http://www.scribd.com/doc/461041/Assessment-20<br />Thanks to Ravel for the music, Google Images for the pictures, and the e-moderation class of June 2011 for their participation!<br />