Synchronous online assessment using Blackboard


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These slides were produced for a teaching enhancement event about online assessment. The conference was raising the potential for using the virtual learning environment as a vehicle for different forms of assessment - including synchronous (this presentation) and asynchronous testing and use of the GradeMark feature for online annotation and feedback.

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Synchronous online assessment using Blackboard

  1. 1. Teaching Enhancement Event: Online Assessment Using Blackboard for Synchronous Online Testing Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester University of Leicester
  2. 2. What?• Use of online test tool within Blackboard to produce one summative task taken “simultaneously” by all students on module
  3. 3. Context• BS1015 Introduction to Biochemistry• Core module, 2011-12 n= 279• Online test of knowledge learned via practical (lab) component of course• 50 minute test, 15% of mark for module• Originally set up by Christine Wells & Jo Badge
  4. 4. Not just MCQs!• The test builder allows you to write questions in a variety of styles - multiple answer - matching - ordering - true/false - numerical calculations
  5. 5. Benefits• An assessment that would take many person-hours to mark by hand is scored instantaneously• The students can be given their score automatically as soon as the test is complete• You can link completion of other tasks (e.g. module review form) to the test =  completion levels• Aids diversity in marking of practicals themselves, i.e. more peer-marking and formative components
  6. 6. Disadvantages• Need a substantial number of computer terminals at the same time• Combined with need for proactive invigilation to stop internet browsing*, will require multiple invigilators• There is considerable time commitment from personcoordinating the task to: (a) write the questions, and (b) plan the logistics of who, when and where* This cannot currently be inactivated centrally at UoL
  7. 7. When synchronous isn’t synchronous• If cohort size >available PCs will need >1 “sitting”• Need capacity to keep cohorts apart e.g. sessions back-to-back, no-one allowed to leave early, different entrances/exits?• Adds to need for invigilators• BS1015 in 2011 - 5 venues at 9 am (n=170, 9 invigilators) - 4 venues at 10 am (n = 111, 8 invigilators)• A total of 11 staff involved for 1-2 hours
  8. 8. Safeguards• test can be password-protected and time-released (but don’t make the password too complex)• total system failure? Get students to write-down answers too (Chemistry)• needs >1 invigilator per room and mobile phone contact between staff in different venues
  9. 9. Other practicalities• students need to know when and where to go• they need to be clear on rules and etiquette for task• provide plain (coloured) paper for workings - collect in at end• students with extra time allowance and/or special circumstances• ensuring all machines switched on• some machines will not be working, budget for 90% of stated capacity• alternative arrangements for absent students
  10. 10. Any Questions?E-mail: cjrwSlideshare: cjrw2Delicious: chriswillmottBlogs: University of Leicester