Online Assessment & Evaluation
Online and blended learning presents several unique opportunities for integrating content with 21st century skills. Combined with the fundamental practices of high-quality instruction, the online environment can produce academic results that are equal or better than traditional classroom instruction. In particular, assessments in online and blended environments present teachers and learners with new ways to chart student growth and demonstrate mastery. This module highlighted several differences and similarities between online, blended, and face-to-face assessment strategies as well as demonstrated a variety of tools that can be used for delivering effective formative and summative assessments.
Designing a Comprehensive Assessment Plan
Reflection: Thoughts and Concerns on Accountability
Some things I would consider for my formative and summative assessments include giving students input on what kind of assessments excite them, addressing plagiarism and academic dishonesty, professor clarity of instructions and explicit expectations, and whether assessments allow for re-teaching and feedback. Giving students a chance to communicate how they learn best and what kinds of assignment/assessment structures work for them is something I would like to offer my students. Some of the best courses I’ve ever taken were taught by professors who had lots of transparency with their students about assignments, expectations and needs. I think this dynamic fosters a supportive and honest learning environment where students are encouraged to ask questions, voice their concerns and are active participants in their learning process. Plagiarism and academic dishonesty is a big concern for me as I enter online teaching. I have read about the risk for cheating in online courses and plan to work with my institution to construct effective assessments that inhibit acts of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Clarity of instructions and having explicit expectations for assessments is important for students and professors. Having detailed instructions, supporting resources and examples can avoid unnecessary confusion and stress. I always try to develop clear outlines of instructions and expectations for assessments and understand it as if I was the student completing the assessment. Lastly I would consider whether my assessments lend themselves to feedback and re-teaching. Formative and summative assessments are measures of understanding of material and progress in a student's learning so that the teacher can provide feedback for improvement. If an assessment does not give the teacher sufficient information to understand the students understanding and progress then the teacher cannot help the student understand and learn the material. My intention in creating assessments is to understand students' needs, develop preventative measures to avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty, give clear instructions and explicit expectations and evaluate assessments for their ability to effectively assess students learning and progress for reteaching and feedback.
Below is an outline of the iNACOL Standards for Quality Online Teaching that have been strengthened so far in this course (Module 6).
Academic Content Standards and Assessments (1, 2, 3 & 5)
The objective of assessments and assessment instructions are clearly outlined in each section of the cumulative assessment plan and reflect the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards. The assessments are of sufficient rigor and supportive exemplars and resources are provided.
Evaluation Strategies (2)
Feedback (3 & 4)
Assessment Resources and Materials (6)
Four assessments are included in the assessment plan (above) and include three formative and one summative assessment that appropriately assess mastery of content for job search readiness. The frequency of assessments allows for the professor to provide feedback for the student to revise and continue learning. The compilation of a continuous professional ePortfolio on Google Sites allows the student to be an active agent in their own learning and monitor their progress throughout the unit. A rubric outlines expectations for successful completion of the ePortfolio.
Post Reflection: One of the main lessons I gleaned from this module is allowing my students to have a choice in how they want to assess their learning in a course. I know from personal experience how anxiety provoking tests and big summative assessments can be, and growing up with learning challenges of my own, I wish I had had more of a choice in demonstrating mastery of my learning. I will strive to include my students in the planning and designing of assessment projects offering them different alternatives that excite them and align with their unique learning styles while still upholding substantial rigor and learning outcomes.