Time Management Strategies for Online Courses
7. Other Assessment Methods
The traditional examination when used in the online environment is rife with opportunities for exploitation by the academically dishonest student. Students that take an online examination from home may use course materials such as the textbook to look up answers while taking a closed-book exam while others may have someone else take the exam in their place, such as a fellow student or former student. There are several other methods and opportunities for online students to cheat on a traditional exam. However, rather than limiting the assessment of online students to traditional examinations, the online instructor has a wealth of additional assessment methods that are better suited to the online environment and that can be easily incorporated into a web-based course.Consider using a combination of the methods listed below to get a better understanding of student mastery of learning outcomes.
For each discussion forum, require that each student submit one original response and at least two responses to responses from their fellow classmates. This is a marvelous way of stimulating student-student interaction.
Require students to submit one or two glossary entries to the instructor for each chapter or unit of the course. The instructor can then post these glossary entries to a glossary page that is accessible to the class for use as a study guide for midterm and final exams. Posting the name of the student submitting each term can also be done, which personalizes the glossary and creates ownership (everyone enjoys seeing their name in print.)
Create a project that requires students to use the web to uncover knowledge and facts. WebQuests are easy to design and stimulate self-discovery of knowledge while also making an excellent individual or group project.
Assign students to groups and have each group create a research report on a topic either chosen by the instructor or by mutual consent of the group. Have each group give a progress report to the class, with group members taking turns presenting to the rest of the class. Each phase of the assignment makes an excellent assessment opportunity, such as the progress reports, peer critique of participants and their participation level, and final project outcomes. Remember that it is much easier to evaluate a few group projects than it is to evaluate individual papers from an entire class.
Simulations not only make for marvelous collaborative projects but can develop critical thinking skills while providing real world experience to students, depending on the type of simulation used.Consider using simulations as a semester-long project,where teams are required to present regular updates to the class. Just as in group projects, each team member can be responsible for one presentation and both instructor critique and peer review can be used.