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Tips for Assessing Student Learning Using Blackboard


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The online assessment tools of Blackboard can be utilized to facilitate meaningful and memorable learning activities for students. These online assessment tools include: surveys, test, quizzes, and electronic submission of assignments. What are the most efficient and effective uses of the Blackboard assessment tools? What recommendations exist for reinforcing academic integrity and providing meaningful feedback? This online discussion to shared tips and best practices for assessing student learning using Blackboard.

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Tips for Assessing Student Learning Using Blackboard

  1. 1. Tips for Assessing Student Learning Using Blackboard Jason Rhode, Assistant Director Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center | | Handout available at
  2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Preliminary thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>General online assessment tips </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for surveys in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for tests/quizzes in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips assessing discussions in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for SafeAssignments in Blackboard </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Questions for Consideration <ul><li>What are the objectives of your course? </li></ul><ul><li>How are you currently measuring whether or not students are meeting your objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>What instructional materials or methods do you currently use to help facilitate the learning process? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Question for Consideration <ul><li>What active processes do students engage in during your course? </li></ul><ul><li>What types of assessments are you currently using? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the purpose of these assessments? Are they fostering the learning process or are they simply a formality? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Questions for Consideration <ul><li>How do you define learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Is regurgitation true learning? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Attainable Goals <ul><li>C ritical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>A pplication </li></ul><ul><li>R eflection </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Bottom Line… <ul><li>Outcomes should drive assessment, not the available technology </li></ul>
  8. 8. General Online Assessment Tips <ul><li>Avoid high-stakes objective assessments online </li></ul><ul><li>Have students complete practice version of a require online assessment to become familiar with technology </li></ul><ul><li>Deploy assessment link(s) in the same folder as unit content </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse and repurpose assessment types once configured in Blackboard </li></ul>
  9. 9. General Online Assessment Tips <ul><li>Provide meaningful feedback to students </li></ul><ul><li>Remember there is no guaranteed approach to prevent cheating online </li></ul>
  10. 10. Surveys <ul><li>Use Survey tool to gather aggregate responses from students </li></ul><ul><li>Remind students surveys are anonymous </li></ul><ul><li>>5 questions, display 1 question at a time </li></ul><ul><li>If desiring to share findings with students, copy/paste results into Word to post in Blackboard </li></ul>
  11. 11. Tests/Quizzes <ul><li>Format questions in MS Word; import using Blackboard Quiz Generator </li></ul><ul><li>Add test questions to pools for easy reuse and expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Check with your textbook publisher to see if they offer question pools for your textbook </li></ul><ul><li>Create tests from random blocks or question pools whenever possible </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tests/Quizzes (cont.) <ul><li>Pay attention to test options when deploying </li></ul><ul><li>Randomize questions </li></ul>
  13. 13. Discussions <ul><li>Provide clear expectations for how discussions will be assessed </li></ul><ul><li>Use Blackboard discussion grader; grade by forum, not thread </li></ul><ul><li>After entering scores for contributions, enter comments directly in the Grade Center </li></ul>
  14. 14. Assignments <ul><li>Use Assignment Manager instead of Digital Drop Box </li></ul><ul><li>Attach assignment instructions and/or template files when creating assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Download submitted assignments for offline grading </li></ul><ul><li>Enter feedback electronically & return to students via the assignment </li></ul>
  15. 15. Assignments (cont.) <ul><li>If attaching feedback to an assignment, remind students to view attached file(s) </li></ul>
  16. 16. SafeAssignments <ul><li>Use SafeAssign for substantial written assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Inform students in the syllabus of the requirements to use SafeAssign </li></ul><ul><li>Create draft version for students to submit to in order to self-check their work </li></ul><ul><li>Make originality reports viewable by students </li></ul>
  17. 17. Session Handout
  18. 18. Archives Available Online
  19. 19. Archives Available via iTunes search “NIU Faculty Development” in iTunes
  20. 20. Contact the Presenter Jason Rhode, Ph.D. Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Northern Illinois University [email_address] 815.753.2475