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Assessment & Evaluation


Assessment and evaluation in an online environment needs to be approached differently than traditional classroom assessment. In classrooms, heavy emphasis is often placed on tests and essays as a means of determining student learning. Online, alternative forms of assessment are often more effective. Group presentations, reflective journals, projects, simulations, etc. allow students flexibility in expressing their learning. Beyond being a more effective gauge of learning, alternative assessment techniques also discourage cheating and plagiarism. Authentic assessment requires a student to demonstrate understanding, not simply regurgitate someone else's interpretations of the subject.

The focus of evaluation and assessment online is to ensure that learning has occurred. If the method of assessment is such that it obstructs effective evaluation of learning, different approaches need to be considered.


A New Methodology for Evaluation: The Pedagogical Rating of Online Courses
"Online course offerings are increasing in number every day. Most universities and corporate training facilities now offer some or all of their courses online. In fact, more than 1,000 corporate universities and online providers offer courses in everything from information technology to Chinese cooking. Although it is clearly advantageous for asynchronous learners to access educational information and content anywhere and anytime, it is difficult to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of online courses and learning modules."

Seven Principles of Effective Teaching:A Practical Lens for Evaluating Online Courses
"The "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education," originally published in the AAHE Bulletin (Chickering & Gamson, 1987), are a popular framework for evaluating teaching in traditional, face-to-face courses. The principles are based on 50 years of higher education research (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). A faculty inventory (Johnson Foundation, "Faculty," 1989) and an institutional inventory (Johnson Foundation, "Institutional," 1989) based on these principles have helped faculty members and higher-education institutions examine and improve their teaching practices."

How Will We Know if Learning Occurs?
Links to authentic assessment, portfolios, and classroom assessment techniques.

A Brief Overview of Assessing Learning in Online Classes
Basic overview...

Student Assessment
Good list of assessment resources.

Evaluating Elearning
Great list of resources from eCLIPSE.

Classroom Assessment Techniques - Indiana U
"Classroom assessment is both a teaching approach and a set of techniques. The approach is that the more you know about what and how students are learning, the better you can plan learning activities to structure your teaching. The techniques are mostly simple, non-graded, anonymous, in-class activities that give both you and your students useful feedback on the teaching-learning process."

Classroom Assessment
"Classroom Assessment is a simple method faculty can use to collect feedback, early and often, on how well their students are learning what they are being taught. The purpose of classroom assessment is to provide faculty and students with information and insights needed to improve teaching effectiveness and learning quality. College instructors use feedback gleaned through Classroom Assessment to inform adjustments in their teaching."

Classroom Assessment Techniques - Examples
Lists several practical examples of assessing classrooms/learning.

An Assessment of the Effectiveness of e-learning in Corporate Training Programs
"Corporate managers are constantly looking for more cost-effective ways to deliver training to their employees. E-learning is less expensive than traditional classroom instruction. In addition, many expenses - booking training facilities, travel costs for employees or trainers, plus employee time away from the job - are greatly reduced. However, some firms that have spent large amounts of money on new e-learning efforts have not received the desired economic advantages."

Take A Varied Approach to Assessment
"Thorough assessments determine what is working, what is not working, and what changes need to happen. Many schools rely on one source for assessing teachers on the use of technology mainly because of limited time and resources. But without proper assessments and reliable data, professional development may falter."
Focuses on assessing instructor use of technology.

"Respondus is the leading developer of third-party testing and assessment tools for the WebCT™ and Blackboard® e-Learning platforms."

Links verified March 2005.


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