††††††††††† Online teaching and learning represent an unparalleled opportunity for rethinking assessment in higher education. †An online environment allows for an emphasis on formative assessment, where a regular assessment-feedback loop can help the instructor monitor performance and development of understanding, and provide formative feedback.† This type of assessment may include:
For summative assessment in online courses, e-portfolio assessment is gaining popularity.† E-portfolios may include objective and problem-based/essay exams, collaborative group work, peer-reviewed work, class discussion activity, writing samples, case studies, and web resources. †Other forms of summative assessment may include online discussions, group projects, and electronic submission of assignments.† Evaluated together, these assessment techniques provide a strong basis for summative grading in an online course.
Concerns with Online Assessments
Students in an online course may be geographically dispersed, therefore assessments are best given online.† However, some instructors are uneasy when they canít oversee the test taker, as they might in the classroom. Yet, requiring students to be proctored at an educational institution or a commercial testing center is not only labor intensive, but, for students, runs counter to their goals of accessibility and convenience which led them to distance education in the first place.
††††††††††† On the positive side, online test taking tools are becoming very flexible. †Course development tools like Blackboard, allow timed, remediated quizzes with automatic grading, and online posting of scores.† Of course, the quiz types available in Blackboard - true/false, multiple choice, and essay - have their own strengths and shortcomings, as shown below:
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Assessment
Some of the advantages of using online assessment include:
Some of the disadvantages of using online assessment include:
The success of any online or web-assisted course is affected by the quality of the technology and the support staff, which can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on the institution.† Fortunately, Pace University is well equipped to handle both the technological and instructional support for faculty and students.†
How can cheating be minimized?
Here are a few ways cheating can be minimized:
What are the uses of Blackboardís assessment features?†
Blackboard's assessment tools can be used to facilitate teaching and learning by:
Blackboard's assessment tools allow you to create both quizzes and surveys using a simple, step-by-step process.† Results are automatically recorded in the Online Gradebook (except for short answer/essay questions) and can only be viewed by the instructor.† Students can view their individual grades securely as well.† The Pool Manager in Blackboard allows you to build pools of questions that you could use in other Blackboard courses and/or in order to randomize questions.††
Blackboard quiz and survey questions may consist of:
Advanced features of Blackboard quizzes and surveys include:
The following options are available when creating Blackboard assessments:
The survey option in Blackboard allows you to create opinion polls, course evaluations, and baseline knowledge tests.† The survey option records responses anonymously (although it does record which students have submitted a survey but does NOT tie the responses to individual students).†
The difference between quizzes and surveys are that tests (quizzes) are automatically graded and recorded into the Online Gradebook.† Feedback can also be built into the test.† Surveys, however, are not graded- student submissions of surveys are indicated by a check mark in the Online Gradebook.† Surveys do not give the student feedback and will not associate responses with the student- responses are anonymous.
Finally, blackboard's assessment feature includes pools that allow you to build questions that are stored for reuse.† Pools may be exported for archival purpose or future use.† They may also be imported from other Blackboard courses.† Pools can also be used for sharing test questions with your colleagues who are using Blackboard.† Finally, they can be used to create multiple versions of an assessment by drawing random subsets of questions.†
I have shared with you some best practices, tips and suggestions for administering assessments in Blackboard for both traditional and online courses.† For more information, or for help in implementing assessments in your course, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.†
"Online teaching and learning represent an unparalleled opportunity for rethinking assessment in higher education."
"Course development tools like Blackboard, allow timed, remediated quizzes with automatic grading, and online posting of scores."
"Blackboard's assessment tools allow you to create both quizzes and surveys using a simple, step-by-step process."