Citations come from BlendKit 2014 chapter 3 reading: https://blended.online.ucf.edu/blendkit-course-blendkit-reader-chapter-3/
Ahhhh.. Assessment. I live in a world that seems to be obsessed with assessments. The desire to “prove” that learning happened , that the instructor was effective seems to be the guiding principle these days and high stakes too. The assumption is that if assessed, and the results pass a set benchmark, than learning has happened and the student is ready to move on to their next level of learning. Application is just not a focus in these cases. This week’s reading about assessment strategies has a nice focus on how assessment, whether it formal or informal, is about “how well your course makes connections between learning objectives, course activities, and the selection of site tools to accomplish assignments” as a means for understanding the depth of learning and the student’s ability to transfer learning to new contexts.
For me, the biggest takeaway from this reading is how online learning has opened up different and even new means for assessing. Some examples included, coding exercises, multimedia assignments and self-grading quizzes. Each of these types of assessment, formal or informal, can offer the instructor feedback on how far a student is able to go with their new learning and offers the instructor the ability to build these assessments around a variety of contexts.
The reading also was careful to point out that the majority of these assessments can also be carried out in the F2F environment. Research on maintaining assessment integrity showed equal levels of academic dishonesty occurring despite whether the assessment was online or F2F (Dietz-Uhler and Hurn, 2011). Therefore, the article further emphasizes the need to design with a “focus on student learning, not student control”. And so those instructors that evaluated student performance online and offline experienced “more fruitful outcomes” regarding measures of student depth of knowledge and ability to apply in a variety of contexts.
As I design assessments for blended learning I want to remember these two main ideas:
- assessments provide feedback on depth of knowledge and ability of learner to apply knowledge in a variety of contexts
- assessments are aligned to the course objectives, course activities, and course tools used
- and assess online and F2F to really provide rich experiences and challenges for your learners