Teaching Online: ASSESS

Learn more about methods and factors related to assessing student learning in your course, and the tools and resources we have here at UD to assist you.

Assessing Student Learning

(Read Time: ~4 Minutes) 

Planning how students will practice their skills and demonstrate their learning is embedded in every step of the course development process. However, in an online learning environment, options abound for assessing student learning, though they may look and feel a bit different. 

When determining what manner of assessment works best for your high-stakes assignments, consider the following key design questions.  These can help you determine the best method for assessing your student’ learning. 

  1. Could an assessment be a project or paper rather than an exam?
  2. Could an open-book exam be created?
  3. Is it a large enrollment course (more than 60 students)?
  4. Is the course hybrid or fully online?
  5. Is the exam computer-based or paper-based?
  6. Does the exam have a component that requires hand-drawing?
  7. Does the course have TAs?
  8. Are there any students living abroad who are participating in the course remotely?

After considering these factors, consult this Decision Tree created by Faculty Common Partners and the below assessment options can help you determine which method tool(s) may best suit your course, and where to find support. 

Assessment Options for Online Courses

Depending on the students, course modality (online vs. hybrid), and class schedule, an instructor may need to have a combination of assessment solutions in their course. These solutions may be attributed to high or low stakes, be alternative or not, and be graded or ungraded. In addition, courses may have to offer multiple assessment options to support students abroad, students out of state, and students residing in Delaware. Alternative assessments are the most flexible option. Examples of alternative assessments include portfolios, case studies, projects, research papers, video quizzes, project- or team-based learning, and graded discussions. These often do not require strong internet access, which can be a problem for some students. Especially if a class has 60 students or less, first consider whether you can provide an alternative assignment rather than an exam. The table below provides an overview of assessment options to consider.

Assessment Modality Scheduling Cost Students Served Consult
Alternative Assessments (Portfolios, presentations, projects, etc.) Computer or Paper-based Asynchronous none All students CTAL (ctal-info@udel.edu)
Open-book Assessments Computer or Paper-based Synchronous or Asynchronous none All Students ATS (ats-info@udel.edu)
In-class Proctored Exams Paper-based Synchronous none On-campus Students Registrar’s Office
UD Online Testing Center (on-site and remote)1 Computer or Paper-based Asynchronous none On-campus and local Students UD Online Testing Center (udonline-exams@udel.edu)
ProctorU2 Computer-based Asynchronous Average $30/exam (covered by UD in Fall 2020) International Students not in the US UD Online Testing Center (udonline-exams@udel.edu)
Zoom Proctoring Computer or Paper-based Synchronous or Asynchronous none All Students UD Online Testing Center (udonline-exams@udel.edu)
Respondus Monitor COmputer-based Synchronous or Asynchronous none All Students ATS (ats-info@udel.edu)

1 Social distancing guidelines will reduce capacity from 70 to 17 operational testing carrels at the on-site location, pending approvals. Operational hours will be extended. It will be necessary to provide students with a remote alternative, similar to classroom attendance expectations. We are developing a remote proctoring environment to serve students off-campus and those who cannot visit the UD Online Testing Center.

2 Students will be assigned to ProctorU or the UD Online Testing Center based on their location. However, it is important to note that, unlike the UD Online Testing Center, ProctorU can only proctor fully online exams.

Assessment Resources 

⇒ I got it! Take me to the next step. I’m ready to FILL my course with content.

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