How Will You Measure Student Success?

How Will You Measure Student Success?

What Assessments Do You Currently Use?
The principle of backwards design asks you to think of your assessment first by aligning it directly to the knowledge, skills and attitudes within your learning objectives.
 

Online Quizzes
 
While there are a variety of proctoring services available, Brock University does not currently offer any of these within the institutional roster.
 
As such, CPI recommends using online quizzes in two ways:
 
Formative tool: The act of taking a quiz can be a great learning tool. This is known as Assessment For Learning.
 
Open Book: Because some questions are not clear-cut and no amount of cheating can help you answer them. For example, questions that ask learners to consider their own personal context will not have one correct answer. There are also great examples of using higher order multiple choice questions. Contact CPI faculty associate David DiBattista for more information.
 
In any case, online multiple choice quizzes should be low stakes.  A common and successful strategy has been a weekly multiple choice quiz worth 1%. 
 

Essays
 
These can be submitted online just as easily as in the drop box at the department. The assignment tool can time stamp the arrival. The only challenge is giving meaningful feedback. See feedback section.
 
Blogs
 
Brock does not have an institutionally supported blog platform available for teaching purposes. Many faculty members use blogs as a replacement for the essay, encouraging more frequent, short reflections and increased connections to classmates’ blogs as well as the world wide web. Note that Blogger, WordPress or other blogging software have a few caveats worth considering. See the section on third-party collaborative tools for more information.
 
Isaak-Sakai's News Feed aggregates RSS feeds, allowing course sites to serve as hubs to activity occuring across selected blogs. The News Feed acts as a helpful repository for students to quickly access new blog posts of other students. The tool is not effective, however, in tracking for assessment purposes: submission of URLs through the assignment tool linked to gradebook is the most efficient method. This feature tool is available upon request. Contact edtech@brocku.ca to enable this in your course.
 

Assignments Tool
 
The Assignments Tool allows instructors to create, distribute, collect and grade online assignments. Assignments are private and student submissions are not visible to other users of the site. The Assignments Tool provides values for letter grades, points, check marks, pass/fail or assignments not intended for grading. Assignments can also be returned, with or without grades, for re-submission. This feature can be used to evaluate drafts of final projects or papers, or to allow students to correct and re-submit an assignment. Students can also be asked to agree to an ‘honour pledge’.
Isaak-Sakai also features a related tool, Assignment2, which offers a more streamlined interface and seamless integration with TurnItIn.com originality reporting.
Forum Discussions are technically very simple to set up; it’s the practical considerations that will take the most time in the form of planning and alignment with your learning objectives and expectations for the course.


Videos
  • Technically, there are many places to upload video, depending on your desired privacy levels and bandwidth needs (YouTube, Vimeo, Brock Kaltura*, Isaak).
  • Pedagogically, there are many methods of allowing students to submit videos, from simple webcam narratives to screencasts to extensive remixes.
Audio
  • Students can submit audio in Isaak-Sakai through the assignment tool, resources tool (with a little tweaking), drop box and even Forums.
  • There are many third party online audio tools available as well
  • Pedagogically, creation of audio can vary, just as they do in video from narration, opinion pieces, conversations, critiques or even radio show style presentations
Social Bookmarking
  • Tools like Delicious and Diigo are great for collaborative resource collection for group learning and sharing

Collaborative Writing Tools
 
There are many collaborative writing applications available on the open web, please refer to the caveats associated with using third party tools.
 
Brock has three collaborative writing tools hosted locally on campus.
 
LMS Wiki (a tool in Isaak-Sakai)
This tool is clumsy and has its own non-standard markup language and only allows one wiki per course. This tool is not recommended but has been successfully integrated for simple collaborative editing in small classes creating glossaries or one page annotated bibliographies. For more robust uses, CPI recommends Etherpad or Media Wiki.
 
Etherpad
Etherpad is the closest thing Brock University has to Google Docs. In fact, I might argue it is better than Google docs because it tracks user input and has a history slider that you can rewind and watch contributions over time.
Brock University’s install of Etherpad is very basic and therefore text only. If you want video or images, this is not the tool for you.
Brock has a local install of Etherpad integrated into our Learning Management System. Through simple LTI, usernames and passwords are passed from folks logged into the LMS into the Etherpad.
 
Media Wiki
This is the same kind of awesome wiki platform that really famous online encyclopedia uses. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The markup is a bit more challenging that other collaborative editing platforms but it’s easy to do the basics and get started. Skills learnt using Media Wiki are directly transferable to the largest collaborative document in human history. We have one course now using our local Media Wiki to work on Stub articles in Wikipedia. They will work in groups to improve the article and when ready, bring their content over to Wikipedia. There are a variety of ways Media Wiki is being used on and off campus. Some faculty create private wikis for each group or one large wiki to work on essays. Students like the ability to add rich media quickly and collaboratively. You can embed videos, images and audio files.
 
For more information read the article on Wikis in Education or for a solution that fits your specific needs, contact the CPI

Third-party collaborative tools (Google Docs, PBwiki, Twitter, Facebook, etc)
There is not currently any policy at Brock preventing the use of these easy-to-use tools, however, their use comes with the usual caveats of working on the open web. Students will sometimes need to have accounts associated with those services and they will have to agree to the terms of service agreements. For example, Google's terms of service asks users to grant them a "worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content."

 
Drawing of types of assessments
Assessments can vary: Quizzes, Forums, Discussions

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