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Assessment in Online Courses: Practical Examples

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Assessment in Online Courses:
Practical Examples
Dr. Roger Von Holzen
Ms. Darla Runyon
Dr. Phillip Heeler
Northwest Missouri State University
Heard in the Halls
“If we are to be required to assess
educational quality and learning by
virtue of how long a student sits in a
seat, we have focused on the wrong
end of the student.”
пЃ®
Laura Palmer Noone
2
Heard in the Halls
“Every person putting the same amount
of time into the same subject matter,
regardless of the learner’s previous
experience, aptitude for that subject, or
ability to learn, no longer makes sense.”
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William Draves
3
“How do you do online exams?”
Question based on notion that online
assessment must follow assessment
methods used on campus
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Not necessarily true
In an online environment
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Radical change to the role of the instructor
пЃ· Shift from the deliverer of content to student
mentor
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Function of assessment techniques must
also change*
4
Online Assessment: An Interactive
Mentoring Opportunity
Need to move beyond the rhetoric that
assessment should be utilized as a
teaching tool and not as an evaluation
mechanism
Use quizzes and tests as interactive
mentoring opportunities
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Enable students to evaluate their own
progress through the course materials
Provide feedback on course content areas
that need further enhancement and/or
development*
5
Beyond the Rhetoric
Quizzes and tests should be viewed as
means of promoting learning
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Open book and extensive testing time
Should be only a small component of
the overall assessment strategy for the
online course*
6
Beyond the Rhetoric
Evolution from seat-time/credit hours to
outcomes-based education as a
measure of learning
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Acknowledging present reality
What matters is whether the student
has actually learned something*
7
The New Role of Assessment
Assessment techniques should be based
on desired learning outcomes
Assessment results should be used by
students to evaluate progress through
course materials
Provide the instructor with:
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evidence of effectiveness of course
materials
indications of content areas that need
further enhancement and/or development*
8
Assessment Strategy
Cumulative process
Aids in forming student assessment
profiles
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snapshot of student understanding
Profile constructed by:
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building learning outcomes based on
critical course content
use of applicable assessment methods to
determine student’s understanding of
learning outcomes*
9
Assessment Strategy
Provides guidance to further develop
conceptual framework
Continuous process (formative)
Should guide the student to mastery of
the learning outcomes
Assessment strategy becomes foundation
for developing the instructional design of
the online course*
10
Assessment Strategy
Learning outcomes:
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should be measurable through an
applicable assessment of that outcome
should provide evidence of mastery of the
learning outcome through student
performance*
11
Learning Outcomes
Determine critical course content
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Discern what the students should know or
accomplish based on the critical content
пЃ· What must the student know in order to
function in authentic situations?
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Decide what evidence is acceptable as
proof of knowledge or accomplishment of
the learning outcome
пЃ· Selected student performance must furnish the
method of assessment of critical content*
12
Communication of Learning Outcomes
Include in syllabus
List in course introductory module
List for each individual module or unit
Convey in related activities and
assignments*
13
Assessment Strategy Steps
1. Assist faculty in integrating new
assessment techniques and developing
overall assessment strategy
2. Administer pre-assessment
пЃ®
Provides guidance in the development of
appropriate learning activities
3. Present critical content through
interactive, instructional concepts and
activities*
14
Assessment Strategy Steps
4. Punctuate course with short assessment
opportunities
Provide student with performance feedback
on learning concepts and activities
пЃ® Provide a diverse array of assessment
methods to reflect student understanding of
the learning outcomes
пЃ® Provide opportunities for relearning and
reassessment*
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15
Assessment Strategy Steps
5. Develop a post-assessment (summative)
Provides evaluation of the overall student
performance
пЃ® Indicates ultimate mastery of critical content
and ability to incorporate content into
appropriate situations*
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16
Additional Assessment Results
Provide instructor feedback on content
delivery methods and techniques
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Feedback directs the instructional redesign
of the course and the instructor’s role*
17
Online Assessment
Provides an organized and systematic
approach to assessment
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Digital exam building features
пЃ· Variety of traditional testing methods are
available
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Multiple Choice
True and False
Fill-in-the-Blank
Multiple Answer
Ordering
Matching
Short Answer/Essay
пЃ· Options to pool questions and control the delivery
of the material*
18
Online Assessment
Traditional methods should only be a
small component of the overall
assessment strategy
Learning outcomes should be assessed
using applicable assessment techniques
Online delivery provides an environment
conducive to incorporating
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a diverse array of assessment techniques
strategies that may be employed across a
variety of course subject areas*
19
Online Assessment
Flexibility of delivery allows for a more
student-centered approach to
assessment and feedback
Proctored exams
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Some situations may require on-site
examinations
Expenses and effort involved must be
considered Traditional methods should only
be a small component of the overall
assessment strategy *
20
Issues of Academic Dishonesty
Work closely with faculty as they
discuss and develop new perspectives
on assessment
Academic dishonesty and conduct in an
online course should be examined as
faculty design and develop online
assessment strategies*
21
Issues of Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty and honor code
policies should be clearly stated early in
the course
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Include in the course syllabus*
22
Issues of Academic Dishonesty
Policy examples
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Students are responsible for submitting
their own work
Students who cooperate on examinations
or other work without authorization share
the responsibility for violation of academic
principles and are subject to disciplinary
action*
23
Dealing with Plagiarism
Web tracking services
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www.turnitin.com
www.plagiarism.com
Instructional design of course site,
assignments and exams
Communicate with students*
24
Practical Examples
One-Sentence Summary
пЃ®
Challenges students to answer the questions
"Who does what to whom, when, where,
how, and why?" about a given topic, and
then to synthesize those answers into a
single informative, grammatical, and long
summary sentence.*
25
Practical Examples
Minute Paper
пЃ®
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The instructor asks students to submit
comments related to the following two
questions: "What was the most important
thing you learned from this lesson?" and
"What important question remains
unanswered?"
Students then submit their responses by email or in a threaded discussion*
26
Practical Examples
Punctuated Lectures
пЃ®
Requires students to go through five steps:
listen, stop, reflect, write, and give feedback
пЃ· Students begin by listening/viewing a lecture or
demonstration.
пЃ· Then, after a portion of the presentation has been
completed, it is stopped.
пЃ· The students are asked to reflect on the lecture or
demonstration.
пЃ· They then write down any insights they have gained.
пЃ· Finally, they submit feedback to the instructor in the
form of short notes.*
27
Practical Examples
Concept Maps
пЃ®
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Drawings or diagrams showing the mental
connections that students make between a
major concept the instructor focuses on
and other concepts they have learned.
Students are asked to sketch the important
features of the geography around major
concepts such as democracy, racism, art,
or free trade.*
28
Practical Examples
Paper or Project Prospectus
пЃ®
Paper Prospectus--a brief, structured firstdraft plan for a term paper or term project.
пЃ· Prompts students to think through elements of
the assignment, such as the topic, purpose,
intended audience, major questions to be
answered, basic organization, and time and
resources required.
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Project Prospectus--focuses on the tasks to
be accomplished, skills to be improved, and
products to be developed.*
29
Practical Examples
Analytic Memos
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Requires students to write a one- or twopage analysis of a specific problem or issue
The person for whom the memo is being
written is usually identified as an employer,
a client, or a stakeholder who needs the
student's analysis to inform decision
making*
30
Practical Examples
Electronic Mail Feedback
пЃ®
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The instructor poses a question to the
class, via e-mail, about his or her teaching,
and invites student responses
Student respond to the e-mail question
with a personal message sent to the
instructor's e-mail account*
31
Practical Examples
Exam Evaluations
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Allow instructors to examine both what
students think they are learning from exams
and tests and students' evaluations of the
fairness, appropriateness, usefulness, and
quality of tests or exams
May help provide verification as to the
authorship of exam answers*
32
References
Angelo, T, & Cross, P. Classroom Assessment
Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers
(Second Edition). 1993.
Boettcher, J, & Conrad, R. Faculty Guide for Moving
Teaching and Learning to the Web. 1999.
Draves, W. Teaching Online. 2000.
Kaczmarczyk, L. Accreditation and Student
Assessment in Distance Education: Why We All Need
to Pay Attention. Proceedings of the 6th Annual
Conference on Innovation and Technology in
Computer Science Education. 2001.
33
Dr. Roger Von Holzen, Director
Center for Information Technology in Education
rvh@mail.nwmissouri.edu
Ms. Darla Runyon
Assistant Director/Curriculum Design Specialist
Center for Information Technology in Education
drunyon@mail.nwmissouri.edu
Dr. Phillip Heeler, Chairman
Computer Science/Information Systems Department
pheeler@mail.nwmissouri.edu
34
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