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Assessment in Online Courses: Practical Examples

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Effective Assessment
Techniques for Online Courses
Ms. Darla Runyon
Dr. Roger Von Holzen
Northwest Missouri State University
Copyright Darla Runyon and Roger Von Holzen, 2003.
This work is the intellectual property of the authors.
Permission is granted for this material to be shared for noncommercial, educational purposes, provided that this
copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and
notice is given that the copying is by permission of the
authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires
written permission from the authors.
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.”
Laura Palmer Noone
Heard in the Halls
“How do you do online exams?”
пЃ®
Question based on notion that online
assessment must follow assessment
methods used on campus
пЃ· Not necessarily true
In an online environment
пЃ®
Major change to the role of the instructor
пЃ· Shift from the deliverer of content to student
mentor
пЃ®
Function of assessment techniques must
also change*
Online Assessment
An Interactive Mentoring Opportunity
Need to view assessment as a teaching
tool and not as an evaluation
mechanism
Use quizzes and tests as interactive
mentoring opportunities
пЃ®
Enable students to evaluate their own
progress through the course materials*
Beyond the Rhetoric
Quizzes and tests should be viewed as
means of promoting learning
пЃ®
Open book and extensive testing time
Should be only a small component of
the overall assessment strategy for the
online course*
Beyond the Rhetoric
Evolution from seat-time/credit hours to
outcomes-based education as a
measure of learning
пЃ®
Acknowledging present reality
What matters is whether the student
has actually learned
Often difficult to get faculty to change
пЃ®
It can be like herding cats…*
The New Role of Assessment
Assessment techniques should be based on
desired learning outcomes
пЃ®
пЃ®
Determine critical course content
Decide what evidence is acceptable as proof of
knowledge or accomplishment of the learning
outcomes
Provides the instructor with:
пЃ®
пЃ®
evidence of effectiveness of course materials
indications of content areas that
need further enhancement and/or development*
Assessment Strategies
Assessment Strategy
Cumulative process
Aids in forming student assessment
profiles
пЃ®
snapshot of student understanding
Profile constructed by:
пЃ®
пЃ®
building learning outcomes based on
critical course content
use of applicable assessment methods to
determine student’s understanding of
learning outcomes*
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*
Learning Outcomes
Determine critical course content
пЃ®
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?
пЃ®
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*
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*
Assessment Strategy Steps
1. Integrate new assessment techniques
and develop an overall assessment
strategy
пЃ·
пЃ·
formative feedback assessment
authentic assessment*
Assessment Strategy Steps
2. Administer pre-assessment
пЃ®
Provides guidance in the development of
appropriate learning activities*
Assessment Strategy Steps
3. Present critical concepts through
interactive, instructional concept activities
Design a learning cycle process which should
include
content and concept delivery
concept application
performance feedback
opportunities for relearning*
Assessment Strategy Steps
Develop the learning cycle by incorporating
appropriate instructional technology
techniques and tools*
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*
пЃ®
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*
пЃ®
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
пЃ®
пЃ®
a diverse array of assessment techniques
strategies that may be employed across a
variety of course subject areas*
Online Assessment
Flexibility of delivery allows for a more
student-centered approach to assessment
and feedback*
Academic Dishonesty
Course Design and Development
Faculty need to discuss and develop new
perspectives on assessment
Good course design will inhibit academic
dishonesty
Issues pertaining to academic dishonesty
and conduct in an online course should
be examined and communicated*
Academic Policies
Academic dishonesty and honor code
policies should be clearly stated early in
the course
пЃ®
Include in the course syllabus
Incorporate a student agreement*
Dealing with Plagiarism
A paper or project development process
should be followed
пЃ®
Paper or Project Prospectus
пЃ· A brief, structured first-draft plan for a term
paper or term project
пЃ®
Submission of rough drafts
Communicate with students to learn
their writing style*
Proctored Exams
Some situations may require on-site
examinations
Expenses and effort involved must be
considered*
Assessment in Online Courses
Even with all of this planning at times
you feel like you’re building on a wing
and a prayer…
Our final words of wisdom:
Think outside the classroom
В©
Ms. Darla Runyon
Assistant Director/Curriculum Design Specialist
Center for Information Technology in Education
drunyon@mail.nwmissouri.edu
Dr. Roger Von Holzen, Director
Center for Information Technology in Education
rvh@mail.nwmissouri.edu
http://cite.nwmissouri.edu:2000/presentations
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