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Online and Computer-based Assessment Tools

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Presented by Jennifer Fager
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Enhancement Day
Advice for Assessing Student Learning in an
Online Environment
п‚— Multiple Choice and Short Answer Questions
п‚— Not always the best technique in either online or ground
п‚— Lend themselves to cheating more so in online
п‚— Questions, regardless of ground or online, must be
written well
 The “test” has been overused and relied upon unless the
instructor is an expert in writing good test items
Advice continued
п‚— Use multiple forms of assessment
п‚— Has corroborating evidence of student achievement
п‚— More personalized assessments reduce the likelihood of
“Term paper” vs. application paper using personal examples
General research paper vs. select topics focus
 Use examples more “authentic” in format
п‚— Consider problems of the field
 Engage in “conversation’s” online
Advice continued
п‚— Security options
п‚— Lockdown browser
Student can’t go to another website during the test
NOTE: Most students now have multiple devices so they can
go to their IPhones, blackberries, laptops, IPads, etc. to
research the “answers”
Advice Continued
п‚— Set test time limits
п‚— Even if the student gets help, time restricts the amount
п‚— Can punish the slower readers/processors
п‚— What do you want in terms of meaningful, thoughtful
Advice continued
п‚— Assume any online test is, by definition, open book
п‚— And perhaps open notes, and open neighbors
 Don’t try to make it otherwise
Advice continued
п‚— Quiz/test software products are available
п‚— Can generate multiple versions of tests
 Each student can receive a “different” test
п‚— Have students explain their answers
 25% have to explain �A’ answers, 25% �B’ answers, etc.
Advise continued
п‚— Other security ideas
 “thumb” identification
п‚— Webcams
п‚— Face-to-face testing at a testing center
Online Assessment Resources
 Commercial Assessment Data Management Tools –
п‚— E.g. TracDat, WeaveOnline, Chalk & Wire
п‚— Curriculum Design Tools
 E.g. WIDS – link outcomes to Performance Assessment Tasks
п‚— Survey Instruments
п‚— Survey Monkey
п‚— Zoomerang
п‚— Portfolios
п‚— Course Management Systems Quiz and Analysis Functions
п‚— Blackboard and others
Resources Continued
п‚— Google Docs
п‚— Jing
п‚— Reflective Instruments
п‚— Leadership
п‚— Personality Style
п‚— Teamwork
п‚— Merlot (has content template builder)
п‚— Clickers
п‚— AdobeConnect with polling features
п‚— Lock-down Browsers for online testing
Fundamental Questions
п‚— What evidence do you have that students achieve your
stated learning outcomes?
п‚— How have you articulated these outcomes to students
and adjunct faculty?
п‚— In what ways do you analyze and use evidence of
student learning?
Assessment Process
п‚— The same process is used for online programs and
courses as for ground (traditional):
п‚— Needs Assessment
Needs of the profession
Needs of the learners
п‚— Articulate your expectations
п‚— Measure achievement of expectations
п‚— Collect and analyze data
п‚— Use evidence to improve learning
п‚— Assess effectiveness of improvement
Measure Online Learning
п‚— Direct Methods
п‚— Mostly the same as ground
п‚— Can use any student work products that can be saved in
an electronic form
п‚— Some challenges exist with lab work, oral performances,
п‚— Indirect Methods
п‚— Again, same as ground
п‚— Survey response rates are notoriously low
Advantages of Online
п‚— Artifact collection can be automated through the
course management software
п‚— Can work for ground as well
п‚— Assignments, rubrics can be standardized and mapped
to specific competencies/outcomes
п‚— Again, can work for ground as well
New Opportunities with Online
п‚— Assess quality of discussions, group work
п‚— Particularly effective with asynchronous
п‚— Assess individual learning in more depth
п‚— Student advising can be more robust
п‚— Use of standardized rubrics can result in greater
consistency in grading
п‚— Particularly effective when combined with periodic
instructor norming and use of anchor samples
Discussion & Group Work
п‚— Faculty can isolate and organize contributions to a
threaded discussion and give feedback on how to
п‚— Can archive individual contributions and group
п‚— Formative and summative
п‚— Course, program, and institutional levels
п‚— Create a record of instructor effectiveness
п‚— Useful for annual review, tenure
Individual Student Learning
п‚— Individual learning/achievements can be tracked
across the educational experience
п‚— E-format allows for wide dissemination of collected
п‚— Current software packages provide various levels of data
collection & dissemination
п‚— Clear articulation of expectations that are linked to
specific course & program outcomes
п‚— A means through which correspondence of online &
ground rigor can be ensured (alignment)
п‚— Increases consistency in grading across sections,
courses, programs, even colleges
п‚— Holistic vs. Analytic
Example of a Successful Online
Assessment Strategy
п‚— Develop course/program maps which articulate
learning outcomes and link them to specific courses
and course assignments
п‚— Collect and archive artifacts through the course
management software
п‚— Post rubrics through course management software for
student and faculty use
Ensure Validity, Reliability
п‚— Tracking inter-rater reliability helps achieve
consistency in grading
п‚— Post rubrics, anchor samples for 24/7 faculty use
п‚— Full-time/core faculty should formulate competencies,
achievement standards & interpret results
Sample Assessments
п‚— Review the Video Gaming Assignment included at the
end of this packet.
п‚— Determine how this assignment could be adapted for
online learning
General Education Outcomes
п‚— The ability and inclination to think and make
connections across academic disciplines
п‚— How would you assess this outcome in ground or
online courses?
Websites and Resources
Questions and Concerns
п‚— What issues have you encountered when assessing
online learning?
п‚— What are your concerns regarding the use of online
assessment techniques?
п‚— What policies and/or procedures need to be in place to
reduce or alleviate these concerns?
Questions Still Burning?
п‚— What else do you need to know?
The Bottom Line?
п‚— Assessment in online learning can be the same as
assessment on ground—artifacts and tools can be the
same even if the medium is different!
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