Evaluating Student Learning
High-stakes testing would typically involve some form of proctoring in an online or remote learning environment. Proctored exams pose several challenges during this current public health situation and are not always necessary for assessing a student’s mastery of course learning objectives. Consider whether or not these tests can be replaced with other alternative assessments.
If Blackboard tests are used, there are various options for administering exams in Blackboard with different levels of security. View more information on High Stakes Exams.
You can also view the Guidelines to Reduce the Risk of Cheating in Online Examinations document for some additional online testing strategies.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about what tools would work best for you, TTaDA is here to help by providing instructional design, faculty development, support, and training.
Test Creating, Proctoring and Scoring
We recognize that tests are one of the most common methods utilized for evaluating student learning. Blackboard provides instructors with the ability to give exams for both online and on-campus students fulfilling one of UND’s goals of offering more educational opportunities online.
Using Blackboard, for students to submit papers, provides an electronic copy of their work that you can grade online using the Inline Grading tool or download to grade offline. You can use Blackboard rubrics, provide written feedback or attach files if using a separate rubric or audio/video feedback. There are also several assignment options to support a number of attempts, group work, and plagiarism checking.
Settings of one, multiple or unlimited attempts are useful for drafts and final papers. See the Blackboard article for more information regarding Multiple Assignment Attempts.
Group submission allows one member of the group to submit the file for everyone. When you grade the work, the score and feedback are accessible to everyone in the group. This "group grading" feature saves grading time and ensures that students see the same feedback on their work. Changes to individual student's grades within that group can be easily adjusted, however, for differentiation of effort.
Note: If you add a member to a group after you assign a grade for a group assignment, the new member does not receive a grade, as they were not part of the process.
Using a clicker or polling software can significantly change classroom interaction by enabling instructors to assess students' knowledge, keep their attention, provide immediate feedback, and encourage all students to participate.
Peer assessment occurs when students assess each other's work using a set of assessment criteria. The students can provide formative back (e.g., peer review) and/or summative assessment (e.g., students grading each other's work, moderated by a faculty member.)
Peer assessment is an effective method for students to be assessors and better understand assessment criteria, thereby increasing students' ownership of the assessment process. The peer assessment process can also motivate students to learn more deeply, improving critical thinking and self-awareness.
Depending on the context, peer assessment can be designed more openly (using discussion and comparison) or anonymously. Preparation, clear assessment criteria, and collective understanding of the assessment purpose, are all important for creating effective peer assessment.
Self-assessment involves students reflecting on their own work and assessing their own performance. Reflective skills enable students to analyze their strengths, as well as areas for potential improvement. Additionally, including students in the creation of assessment criteria serves to deepen their understanding of the process. Self-assessment can be implemented alone or in combination with peer assessment.
Group Work Assessment
Working in groups affords students opportunities to learn from each other's perspectives and collaborate effectively. Group work can foster valuable life skills, yet it can be difficult to fairly assess students' individual contributions to a group project. Assessment of the final group product is often easier, yet it is important to assess the working process of a group, if possible. The students in the group are in the best position to assess the working; thus, using peer assessments within the group allows students to rate each member's efforts during the group work.
Benefits of Peer and Self-Assessment
- Develop well-defined assessments criteria
- Encourage deep learning
- Generate timely feedback
- Support student-centered learning
- Enhance student motivation and engagement
- Assess comprehension, in addition to knowledge
- Foster critical thinking skills and self-awareness
- Reduce instructor workload