1. What is the difference between assessment and evaluation?
Assessment is “focused on measuring a performance, work product, or skill” and is “nonjudgmental” (Center for School Success, n.d.). An evaluation uses judgment to determine the quality of the performance, work product, etc. (Center for School Success). The evaluation may take into consideration any assessments that have been done but also uses other factors in the determination. The findings of an evaluation are usually presented and discussed (Newberry, pg. 1).
2. What are the challenges to assessment and evaluation in eLearning?
One of the biggest challenges to assessment and evaluation in eLearning is cheating. How do you setup your assignments so that only the student can login to take a test and not someone they paid? How do you keep students from giving answers to other students? How do you keep students from using notes and textbooks during tests? These are challenges that have been around since the beginning of online learning. During my time as the Instructional Services Manager at a small community college, I was part of a small group that put together a “Standards for Distance Education” document for the college to follow. One of the major obstacles was verifying student identity. We, along with many other colleges, could only really rely on the user’s protected login and password as verification. Unfortunately, this isn’t a great option. The only possible way that we could think of was to make students use a testing center that checks identification upon arrival for any type of test, however, this just isn’t possible or practical for many online students.
3. Explain the possible use of an online portfolio in eLearning.
On online portfolio in eLearning can be used to collect a student’s work from one class or an entire program. The collection of work can easily be graded by the instructor because everything is in one place. The portfolio can also be a collection of certain assignments such as a final paper or select pieces that received high marks. While researching eportfolios on the web I came across Santa Clara University’s eportfolio website. You can view examples of some of their student’s eportfolios at www.scu.edu/eportfolio/students/samples.cfm.
4. Identify at least two ways to measure student participation in an online class and explain how you think these methods can factor into the students’ grade in the course.
According to our text, instructors can “grade students’ contributions to electronic discussions” (Waterhouse, pg. 239) and “reward students for accessing and using materials in the coursesite” (Waterhouse, pg. 240) to measure student participation. These methods can factor into a student’s grade like any other assignment. The instructor would need to decide how much value each assignment has in comparison to others and how much of the overall course grade participation is worth. You can break down the tasks and create a rubric so that scoring is fair and consistent and so students are aware of the expectations. Assigning a numerical value allows the grade to be included in the overall grade of the course.
5. Define peer evaluation and describe its advantages and disadvantages.
Peer evaluation is an evaluation of a student’s work, performance or participation by a fellow student. An advantage of peer evaluations is that the instructor gets another viewpoint of the student’s performance that they would otherwise not get. Disadvantages include biased opinions of the student (the evaluator does or does not like the student being evaluated) and/or fear on the evaluator’s part to be honest. Another disadvantage is that the student being evaluated may not view being graded by a classmate as fair.
6. Describe a possible group assignment for an online class and explain how to evaluate student performance in the group assignment.
One group assignment that I have given to students in the past is to create a PowerPoint slideshow about a specific topic. The topic could be about anything; it was their choice as long as it was appropriate. What I was looking for was their use of the software. They were being graded on design (does the theme match the topic), layout, formatting, and use of objects such as animation and sound. In an online environment I would form groups of four or five, depending on the size of the class. Each group would pick a topic and get approval so that it is age appropriate, depending on the grade level. They would then decide how they should complete the assignment, how they wanted to divvy up the tasks and agree upon timelines for task completion. Upon completion of the project I would have each student complete an evaluation (based on a rubric) on their group member’s performance and participation. I would use this information to help determine grades and I would include it in the assignment rubric so that they are aware of my expectations before they begin.
7. Create an online test.
8. Create a rubric or other grading aide for an online assignment.
Center for School Success. (n.d.). Center for School Success. Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://www.centerforschoolsuccess.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=150
Newberry, B. (2013). Grades, testing and evaluation in eLearning [Class Handout]. Department of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Information, California State University San Bernardino, San Bernardino, CA.
Waterhouse, S.A. (2005). The power of elearning: The essential guide for teaching in the digital age. Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.