Notes and Resources for Session 3: What Can We Assess Online?
Special thanks to CITL Graduate Affiliate Leanna Duncan for designing this workshop and authoring this blog post!
See a recording of the workshop here. It may be a while before captions are made fully accurate.
Like Session 2, this workshop was flipped, with a prework video to offload time spent explaining the four assessment types. The objective of the workshop was to give participants the tools to analyze various assessment types and figure out which were right for their courses.
We started with a quick Socrative quiz to see how well we remembered these four types, which was (seemingly!) pretty straightforward. It had two questions, both in relation to the quiz itself:
- What kind of assessment is this?
- What kind of assessment is this?
I thought the answers were "Formative" and "Academic" but here's the kicker-- there are potentially arguments to be made for "Summative" and "Authentic" as well. Can you think of any? We kicked around a few, including the fact that the assessment could be a summative evaluation of participants' understanding of the prework and the notion that taking a quiz on an online platform was a decent authentic assessment about employing a quiz on that platform in one's online course.
We then went into breakout rooms to compare assessment stories from the prework and share our observations about the things that might translate well to online assessments. We used these to construct some tentative best practices/ issues to consider when putting assessments online. We compiled these in a Google doc which you can check out anytime.
We then contextualized these suggestions by talking about four guiding principles to use when thinking through how to apply various assessment styles to your own courses. First, what things are necessary for you to include? Are there parameters set by a lead teacher, a department, a curriculum, or your own preset frameworks for the course that you need to situate the assessment within? This consideration is similar to the situational factors we discussed in Session 2. Second, what product or knowledge is important to your course and thus to include in the assessment? This goes back to the ultimate purpose of assessment: to see if learning objectives are being met. Thirdly, what is reasonable, for both you and your students, in terms of the amount of time spent on designing, performing, and grading the assessment? What is a reasonable amount of effort for you to put into directly combatting plagiarism versus creating a culture of trust between you and your students? Finally, the perhaps odd-seeming consideration-- what is ethical? This deals with questions of access and equity-- do all of your students have the chance to perform well on this assessment?-- but can encompass other considerations as well, like the types of software you use within your course.
Of course, the age-old question arises here-- what about cheating? Leanna offered a few strategies for dealing with this, including lower stakes and more authentic and/or creative assessments and ones that offer increased interaction between students and instructor.
We spent a bit of time with this graphic representation of Bloom's taxonomy and corresponding activities and assessments (from this CITL presentation on Online Assessment Strategies and Options) participants dropped their observations about the placement of particular forms of assessment on particular levels of the taxonomy into the chat.
Participants then spent a few minutes adding to the graphic organizers that most began to construct in our prework, considering what kinds of assessments could work well to further the learning objectives they’ve created for their courses.
Here are the slides for Leanna's presentation.
Further reading suggestions:
Want to know how Leanna made the pre-work video? Check out this video for a walkthrough of how to make your own screen recording (with pretty good autocaptions!)
For more on online assessments and the image of Bloom's taxonomy above, see this CITL online presentation.
Interesting in exploring philosophies behind what can be assessed online? Check out this Inside Higher Ed Q and A with Dianne Conrad and Jason Openo, authors of Assessment Strategies for Online Learning.
Pre-Work for Session 3
Watch this brief video on assessment types.
Make a short list of brief written examples of each type of assessment discussed (formative, summative, academic, authentic) from your own educational experience (either as instructor, student, or observer).
Pick one and imagine you needed to use this assessment in an online course. What challenges would confront you, and what would be easily implemented? List a few of these challenges and possibilities.
Building off of last session, also begin mapping out your learning objectives. After modifying any learning objectives you came up with according to what you learned in the last session, begin to organize them in a meaningful way. Are some objectives prerequisites for other objectives? Are some thematically related? Submit an image of your progress. You can map by hand and submit a photo, or look into mindmapping software and submit a screenshot.
Don't spend more than thirty minutes on this pre-work, then submit your work to this email address: What_Yo.firstname.lastname@example.org
Name your file according to this convention: LastName_Firstname_Session3
That will drop your submission into a Box Folder for us. We look forward to seeing you live on Zoom at 2pm on June 30. If you registered, you will have been sent a link to that meeting.