Design Authentic Online Assessments

<< Remote Teaching Checklist

OSCQR-44-49

Authentic online assessment is an essential part of an effective high quality remote/online learning experience. Well designed online assessments can promote a sense of class community and support active learning. Well-articulated learning outcomes/objectives are a crucial start in the online assessment design process.

  • In an online course where learning outcomes and objectives align, there are no activities or expectations in the course for which there is not a plan to provide some form of feedback, evaluation, or assessment. That is, every planned activity in the online course can be mapped to a specific learning objective, and provides an opportunity for assessment and/or feedback.
  • Consider due dates and times and check your assumptions.
    • There is no need to have an assignment due at midnight, if you will not actually be checking it till 9am.
    • Might Monday be a better due date than Friday to allow students to work through the weekend?
  • Types of Assessments:
    • Written assignments: essays, papers, case analyses, journals, original creative works/projects.
    • Online discussion interactions: discussion fora, blogs, etc.
    • Presentations: Slides, screen casts, videos, live webinar, etc.
    • Test/Self-test/Quiz/Exam: the learning management system offers a variety of options. It is important to consider that tests of this type are typically most effective as low-stakes formative assessments to check student understanding.
      • No matter how they are designed online tests are essentially open book, take home, and potentially collaborative, and so should be weighted accordingly and alternatives considered.
      • For some courses/disciplines/certifications some form of face to face proctored exam may be necessary.

Suggestions:

  • Break complex projects/assignments down into smaller components and provide feedback at each step.
  • Use rubrics to articulate and provide detailed expectations for assignments and student performance.
  • Consider using self-assessment quizzes formatively to help learners check their own understanding.
  • Incorporate self- and peer-assessments to promote student teaching presence and community, deepen their understanding of your rubrics, and reduce your workload.
  • To maximize your time and efficiency, consider where you may have opportunities to provide feedback to the entire class– be strategic in where you spend your time producing individual feedback. If you find yourself writing the same/similar feedback on a particular assessment/assignment, consider group feedback.
  • The use of varied assessment techniques in an online learning environment is recommended.


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