Teaching Online: ASSESSLearn 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.
- Could an assessment be a project or paper rather than an exam?
- Could an open-book exam be created?
- Is it a large enrollment course (more than 60 students)?
- Is the course hybrid or fully online?
- Is the exam computer-based or paper-based?
- Does the exam have a component that requires hand-drawing?
- Does the course have TAs?
- 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.
|Alternative Assessments (Portfolios, presentations, projects, etc.)||Computer or Paper-based||Asynchronous||none||All students||CTAL (email@example.com)|
|Open-book Assessments||Computer or Paper-based||Synchronous or Asynchronous||none||All Students||ATS (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|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 (email@example.com)|
|ProctorU2||Computer-based||Asynchronous||Average $30/exam (covered by UD in Fall 2020)||International Students not in the US||UD Online Testing Center (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Zoom Proctoring||Computer or Paper-based||Synchronous or Asynchronous||none||All Students||UD Online Testing Center (email@example.com)|
|Respondus Monitor||COmputer-based||Synchronous or Asynchronous||none||All Students||ATS (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
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.
- Alternatives to Traditional Testing – UC Berkeley
- Alternatives to Traditional Exams and Papers – Indiana University
- Assessment Strategies for Large Enrollment Courses Conducted Online – University of Delaware Resource
- Finding the Balance: Creating Meaningful Assignments Without Overwhelming Instructional Workload – Journal of Educators Online
- Tips for Exams and Alternative Assessments – Rutgers University
- Giving Exams Online: Strategies & Tools – Vanderbilt University, Center for Teaching
- Fostering Integrative Learning and Reflection through “Signature Assignments” – Association of American Colleges & Universities
- Assessment & Proctoring Options for Online Courses
- Guidance for Instructors Administering Live, Asynchronous Proctored Exams
- UD Online Testing Center Website – Exam guidelines and scheduling for faculty
- Fourteen Simple Strategies to Reduce Cheating on Online Examinations
- Online Learning Identity Authentication
- Academic Integrity in the Virtual Environment – UD Office of Student Conduct
- Reporting Academic Dishonesty – UD Office of Student Conduct
- The Moral and Pedagogical Argument Against Plagiarism-detecting Software – Christine Cucciarre, UD
- Academic Integrity Literature Review – Al Cavalier, School of Education, UD
- UD Online Orientation for Students
- UD Online Testing Center Website – Information for students
- Recommendations from DSS for Accommodating Students in Canvas
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