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Assessment Resources

The following LTC resources are not specific to the online environment, but the principles involved are general to any course environment.

As in any course, it is recommended to use a variety of strategies to conduct assessments. In the online environment this can include tests, discussions, projects, portfolios, among a host of other options. One of the advantages of being online is that you can take advantage of the online environment’s multiplicity of communication channels, from basic email to discussion boards on specific topics to collaborative efforts using wikis and so on. The following sections outline some of the main issues that instructors face as they develop their courses.

Use of rubrics

When assessments cannot be easily graded in any automated way using the tools of a Learning Management System or testing tool, then it is important to find another strategy that can ensure a good quality assessment without overwhelming the instructor with grading. One way to do this is by using rubrics with assignments. They have a number of important advantages for both instructors and learners. Rubrics establish the criteria for marking, provide a systematic approach to evaluating, and help ensure consistency in grading. It is also a good idea to make the rubric available to students so that they can have a clear idea of what’s required of them for an assignment. Upon receiving a marked assignment, students can also consult the rubric to identify for themselves areas of strength and weakness and use this feedback to inform subsequent efforts.

Resources:

Creating a Rubric (LTC resource)
Rubistar (requires registration to save and store rubric on their site)
Kathy Shrock’s Guide For Educators

Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) online

Classroom Assessment Techniques as described by Angelo and Cross have been a great resource for instructors for gauging the learning progress of students using quick, focused exercises. A lot of these techniques are easily transferrable to the online environment and can be carried out using basic communication tools like email or a discussion board.

Example: the Muddiest Point

For whatever unit of instruction you choose, have your students send you an email, telling you what point in that material was unclear. You can also create a special forum in the Learning Management System discussion board for this. It all depends on whether or not you feel private or public responses are most appropriate and effective.

Resources:

Classroom Assessment Techniques LTC Job Aid
Flint, W. Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) for Online Instruction. EJournal. Vol. 1.

Angelo, T.A. & Cross, P.K. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
The following expanded list of CATs can be found at the University of Oregon web site:
Fifty CATs

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