MoodleMootAU10 Online Assessment at Endeavour College of Natural Health

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Presentation made at MoodleMootAU10 regarding online assessment using Moodle and Endeavour College of Natural Health by Ross Kirk and Lynda Thater

Presentation made at MoodleMootAU10 regarding online assessment using Moodle and Endeavour College of Natural Health by Ross Kirk and Lynda Thater

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  • Welcome! My name is Ross Kirk from Endeavour Online Learning in Brisbane. I’m here today to talk to you about some examples of how we implement online assessment.
  • First, some background information about our College. EOL is located in Brisbane, but our College has campuses around the country in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. (now give Grant’s presentation a plug  ) Over the past two years we’ve developed over 50 online subjects at AD and Bachelor level. They are in a variety of areas, like the Biosciences, Complementary Therapies and Business. Each subject, depending on it’s learning outcomes, has different pieces of assessment. On average each subject has 3-5 pieces.
  • Ok, so what types of assessment do we use in the subjects? Well, by far the most common would be advanced assignment uploads. Most subjects would have at least one assignment, which might be an essay, report or take-home exam. We use the advanced assignment upload activity because it allows students to upload multiple assignment files (students submit their assignments in Word documents – the tutors mark them, add a rubric marking sheet to the Word document, and then save it as a pdf to be returned to the student) The advanced assignment activity allows the tutor to return the pdf, which is important for us. But we also regularly use forums, wikis, online text submissions and online quizzes and exams. Now, I’m cognizant of the time, so I’ll just jump over to the demo website now and show you a few things we do with forums, online text submissions and quizzes!
  • Add screenshots – split onto different pages.
  • Screenshot of student’s feedback?
  • Forum text quiz


  • 1. Online Assessment Experiences from the Trenches Lance Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson, 2 nd Marine Div ~ 17/7/2009 Presented by: Ross Kirk (in person) Lynda Thater (in spirit) Endeavour Online Learning
  • 2. Background
    • At Endeavour College of Natural Health we have developed over 50 online subjects at Advanced Diploma and Bachelor level.
      • Biosciences (Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology),
      • Complementary Therapies (Naturopathy, Nutritional Medicine, Counselling, and Herbal Medicine )
      • Business oriented subjects.
    • Each subject has from 3-5 pieces of assessment as part of its curriculum.
  • 3. Why “from the trenches”?
    • We are still very much ‘in the thick of it’ working on subject development and improving current subjects – about 50% of subjects developed for online
    • Regular changes and updates to meet staff and student requirements
    • Experimenting with different assessment ideas in new subjects
    • Introducing a blended f2f + online model very shortly – will require more innovation
  • 4. What types of assessment?
    • Advanced assignment uploads
    • Forums
    • Wikis
    • Online Text Submission
    • Online Quizzes and Exams
  • 5. How we offer subjects
    • Most subjects are offered monthly
      • develop the subject
      • put it online and enroll students
      • the next month, backup/restore subject from the current template
    • LMS Administrator sets up the subjects
    • Tutors are assigned to each monthly cohort
    • All the subject materials are already there
  • 6. #1 Online Forums
    • For most subjects we have preset topics for the students to answer
    • They are case study, reflection or application type questions – open ended.
  • 7. #1 Online Forums cont
    • Student’s point of view
      • Advantages – they can see what the topic is, and go and research. It help develops relationships in the cohort. Some students who might be shy in a face-to-face situation, like being able to post to the website.
      • Disadvantages – someone else might get a similar answer to theirs, need to read the other student’s posts can get time consuming
    • LMS administrator point of view
      • Having preset topics, means restoring them each month. Can be time consuming – so we have started to use the single-topic style of forum – that way it is restored from the backup
      • The other problem with backup/restore was the posting dates
  • 8. #1 Online Forums cont.
    • Teacher’s point of view
      • Advantages – ease of online marking, only have to post a certain comment once – because everyone in the class can read it.
      • Disadvantages – if the item is assessable, tutors will want to give feedback to each and every student’s postings – this can be time consuming, and can create lots of emails going to everyone.
      • Also, if the student posts incorrect information, the tutor has to make the correction and make sure everyone in the class knows. Students can post anytime so they start to expect the tutor to be online everyday.
  • 9. #2 Online Text Submission
    • Because of some of the problems with the online forums, we started implementing online text submissions for some subjects.
    • Some subjects had topics that were more matter-of-fact, not really discussion topics, more assignment-like.
  • 10. #2 Online Text Cont.
    • Advantages:
      • Simple for the students to complete
      • Better privacy – only the student can see their own posting
      • Students don’t receive copies of each forum posting, clogging up their inboxes
      • Tutors but still have the ease of marking online
    • Disadvantages:
      • Students can’t learn from other students because they can’t see the other discussions or feedback
      • Confusion over due dates – The student can update their submission as many times as they want before the tutor marks it – so, the tutor needs to make sure they don’t start marking until after the due date.
  • 11. #3 Online Quizzes
    • Implemented many types at EOL:
      • MCQ, fill in the blank, essay, drag and drop matching, etc
    • Try to reduce plagiarism / cheating by:
      • Exam / quiz design
      • Using case studies / applied knowledge (rather than stuff they can google)
      • Limiting time (30, 60, 90 minutes)
      • Approaching online quizzes as
      • being “open book” – write questions
      • with the approach that students can
      • look things up
  • 12. #3 Online Quizzes cont
    • Problems students’ have encountered:
      • Students have to have the correct browser security settings
      • Electricity / internet outages
      • Browser hangs (eg if students have too many browser windows open surfing for the answers)
      • Students forget to press the submit button or submit too early
    • Solutions:
      • Reattempt quiz, have deferred quizzes setup, extra questions
      • Provide practice quizzes so students can make sure they have the correct setup before attempting the ‘real’ quiz
      • Need a mechanism for students to contact help desk
  • 13. Setting up Quizzes
    • Most subjects have test banks
      • Split a test into multiple categories
      • Then randomly select questions from each category
      • Example question bank
    • Importing quiz questions
      • MCQ ones are easy – use Aiken format
      • Subject developers create quizzes in Word documents
      • Then MCQs are imported
      • Essay questions can be imported using XML
  • 14.
  • 15. Setting up Quizzes cont.
    • Use feedback option
      • Instead of the tutor having to write feedback for each student
      • E.g. sample answers are provided to the students when the quiz results are released
      • Advantage is tutors spend less time typing similar feedback for each student.
    • Other ideas to broaden the test bank but minimise workload
      • Use the same questions, but apply them to different case studies
      • Can now use random essay type questions (initially only could have random MCQs)
  • 16. Compare the different types? Forums Online Text Quizzes Student
    • Interactive
    • Too many emails
    • Time-consuming & time-outs on long posts
    • Easy to use
    • Only get one-on-one feedback
    • Quick feedback from auto-marked questions
    • Stress of taking an exam
    Tutor/ Marker
    • Interaction
    • Too many emails, copying
    • Easy to use
    • Can’t share feedback between students
    • Easy to mark online or auto-mark
    • Coordinating re-attempts, deferreds
    • Supervision(?)
    • Std. forums with multiple pre-posts time-consuming to setup
    • Simple! set & forget
    • Coordinating re-attempts, deferreds
  • 17. Track My Progress
    • We use the progress bar block , developed by Michael de Raadt from USQ, to help students keep track of their progression through the assessment in each subject.
    • It provides a constant reminder of assessment requirements and due dates and links directly to that assessment when the student is ready to submit.
    • Due dates automatically populate from the Calendar.
  • 18. Any Questions?
  • 19. FOR MORE INFO ABOUT ENDEAVOUR ONLINE LEARNING… … make sure you catch the presentation Online Learning for the Complementary Health Sector by Grant Beevers, Director of Online Services 4pm today in Room 104!