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Evaluation & Assessment

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We are trying to achieve a goal, reach a destination. It is helpful to know whether the things we are doing are working or whether we need to adjust as a teacher and as students.

How Are We Doing?  

This is a question asked by individual students and the class as a whole. In an online setting, you and your students lack the opportunity to read body language as clearly as you can in a traditional classroom. You will need to find other ways to see how students are doing.  

Example Practices: 

  • Seek student feedback. Build rapport with students via various formal and informal feedback tools and methods. Facilitating online learning interactions will be crucial for both you and your students in order to track progress. 
  • Create smaller, more frequent assessments. This will give students more time and opportunity to improve. Consider using student-to-student feedback options.  

Are Assessments Fair Indicators of My Learning?

Students don’t use this language, but it is essentially what they mean. Students expect to be taught what is most important; tested on what is most important; and given opportunities to practice so that they can demonstrate what they have learned.  

Example Practices: 

  • Align assessments to learning outcomes and activities. Reflect on what kinds of assessments will best accomplish a successful demonstration of the learning outcome; a multiple-choice test or essay might not always be the best option. Use activities to scaffold student readiness for taking, or creating, the assessment.  
  • Teach what you test. Allocate sufficient time to teach content and skills students will be tested on.  
  • Provide ample practice. Build student confidence in the skills they will need to demonstrate what they have learned.  

What Can I Do as a Student to Get Better?

Feedback is essential to student learning and improvement. Growth requires taking risks, failing at times, learning to recover, and getting better.  

Example Practices: 

  • Seek student feedback. Learning management systems provide frequent opportunities to collect data. Take advantage of these systems by sharing what you learn with your students while encouraging them (and yourself) to maintain a growth mindset. 
  • Use smaller, more frequent assessments. Assess early and often. Give students time to practice and improve. 
  • Give timely feedback. Students find improvement difficult when feedback is delayed. 

Tools to Help You: 

Additional Resources: