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Development of Assessment Plan and Training of Writers for Online Distance Education Degree Programmes

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Development of Assessment Plan and Training of Writers
for Online Distance Education Degree Programmes

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Development of Assessment Plan and Training of Writers for Online Distance Education Degree Programmes

  1. 1. Development of Assessment Plan and Training of Writers for Online Distance Education Degree Programmes Creating Assessment for Online Distance Education Students Document Introduction Assessment Matrix Modular Structure - Humanities Programmes Programme Learning Outcomes and Learning Opportunities New Assessment Types Added Working with Writers to Design & Develop Assessments, Feedback Grids and Marking Guidelines Plans for 2014 National Institute for Digital LearningElaine Walsh and Dr James Brunton E-mail: elaine.walsh@dcu.ie Web: http://www4.dcu.ie/oscail/index.shtml • 30 modules across 5 subject areas. • The choice provided by the flexibility of the modular structure means it is not possible to predict the combination, order or number of modules for which a student will registered. • The challenge was to build in ample learning opportunities allowing for the flexible structure of the programme. A document was created around: • Constructive alignment • Examination writing guide • Different assessment types • Guidelines and marking rubrics • Sample marking guidelines • Scaffolding assignments • Open Educational Resources • Assignment documentation templates with respective marking guidelines • Templates of feedback grids • Grading system • Additional readings • Matrix The assessment matrix provides an overview of the overall assessment plan across all 30 Humanities modules. The matrix ensures that sufficient learning opportunities are provided to students in order to guarantee that programme learning outcomes can be reasonably achieved. Each assignment is documented including assessment type, type of feedback grid to be used, number of assignments and assignment weightings. Full-time academic staff liaise with part-time assessment writers to plan and design the assessments for the Humanities Programmes by: • Working with writers to draft and re-draft assignment documentation and supporting marking guidelines and feedback grids. • Organising and conducting meetings both virtually and face-to-face with writers. This project is currently being advanced by converting the “Creating Assessment for Online Distance Education Students” document into a dynamic online course. There are plans underway to run a workshop focusing on creativity in designing assessments for online students. Student Evaluation surveys will be conducted during the summer to obtain feedback from the students on their thoughts and experiences of the new assessment types. A full review of the introduction of these assessment types will also include feedback from our tutors, writers and assessment monitors. 1 2 3 4A 54B 6 Different assessment types introduced across all subject areas included collaborative assessments, online presentations, study skills exercises, reflections, using the DCU online journals, large “showcase” assignments, assignments structured around YouTube videos, article reviews and creating repositories of sharable objects. Two new developments included: • Creating and designing assignment templates to ensure consistency across all modules • A new section called “Deliverables” was added to assignment guidelines to provide clear instructions such as detailing specific submission requirements. The Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Humanities and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English and History programmes are Online Distance Education programmes offered by Dublin City University. These modular programmes consist of a suite of modules from five subject areas – Philosophy, Sociology, Literature, History and Psychology. Each of the stakeholders (students, lecturers, administration, and policy makers) may have a different view of the function of assessment. Students may view assessment as a tool for focusing their studies and imposing key milestones that shape their study plans. Lecturers may look at assessment as only part of a student’s studies. Regardless of a stakeholder’s viewpoint, assessment is a critical component of each of the modules. Assessment writers must select suitable assessment types for each module in order to measure the applicable knowledge, skills and competencies determined by both the module and programme learning outcomes. An assessment matrix can provide a programmatic overview that ensures students have a reasonable opportunity to achieve all programme and module learning outcomes. The Humanities programmes have learning outcomes which specify the objective(s) of those programmes. Each module then has established learning outcomes that show what students should be able to do, having completed the module.

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