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Western Kentucky University

Introduction - Issues in Online Assessment - FaCET

Online Assessment

Sally Kuhlenschmidt, Psychology/FaCET Director


Provide a brief introduction/overview of your issue.

Assessment is the primary motivational tool of instructors for encouraging and rewarding student learning. Anything that helps it progress more smoothly advances the teaching mission as a whole. Anything that ruffles the assessment waters, undermines learning.

Teachers of online courses face a number of challenges in conducting assessments of student knowledge. The obvious ones such as security, test-taker identity and technological malfunctions or limitations are exacerbated by the anxiety felt by many students and the difficulty in getting a quiet testing environment.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants shall

  1. Be aware of options and issues in conducting online assessments.
  2. Have participated in sharing ideas with other online teachers around the theme of assessment.

What is assessment? For the purposes of this discussion we’ll primarily focus on measures of student learning that contribute to the student’s summative grade as this produces the most challenges. A summative assessment can include tests, quizzes, papers, presentations, or projects. (A summative assessment is one that provides a summary of work, typically for the purposes of assigning a role, such as “entry to graduate school” or “top student”. SITE ratings are summative.)

One can use assessment in a formative manner, to provide feedback on student understanding. (A formative assessment is one that is done primarily to give a learner information about his or her performance. Its function is to enhance skill or to “form” the person and is typically ungraded.)

Discussion Question:
What have you found is your best assessment technique?


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 Last Modified 9/25/14