Creating evaluations to monitor and assess learning.
Assessments measure student achievement, and therefore whether students have achieved learning outcomes in your course. Recall from Designing Assessments that assessments may be:
Further, activities, assignments and separate assessments can all serve a variety of these purposes. For example, a group research project may proceed by stages in which students are given feedback from the instructor and/or peers to improve their work (formative assessment) as well as a final grade after final submission (summative assessment).
At this point in the design process, you have determined the type of assessments that will be used in your course. It is now time to explore what that assessment will look like, how students will access the information needed for the assessment, as well as how students will submit the assessment.
For example, a learning outcome may align with students posting in a discussion board with a rubric used as an assessment tool. It is time to determine the expectations and criteria of the discussion board, how often students will post and how they will access the tool.
In this section we will learn how to construct different types of assessments, as well as how to build these in UB Learns.
Assignments are the most frequent assessments students will complete. While these may take a variety of forms, almost all will be submitted and graded through a CMS such as UB Learns. Rubrics are often companions of assignments and can be built into the assignment as an efficient grading tool. The following guides give steps for how to structure and setup assignments in Blackboard (UB Learns).
Rubrics can be used to help guide students in beginning their assignments, as feedback during work, and to assess their final product more clearly and objectively. The following resources give directions for how to build rubrics in UB Learns.
In some cases, your learning management system may not offer the features or capabilities you desire. If you determine that UB supported tools are not aligned to your goals, third party tools are also an option. However, it is important to note that on-campus technical and instructional support is likely unavailable for third party tools.
When exploring and choosing tools, consider these additional questions:
Discussion forums are places for students to collaborate and share their understanding online. The following resources will help you build discussion forums in UB Learns, as well as best practices to create engaging and meaningful discussions.
Tests and quizzes can be used to assess student progress and give feedback, as well as to measure final outcomes. The following resources explain how to build tests and quizzes in UB Learns and Blackboard, provide advice for writing high-quality test questions, as well as outline how to align question types with learning outcomes.
While you can ask students to raise their hands for yes/no questions, the following tools allow you to expand the type of feedback you receive from large numbers of students.
Web-based surveys and polls let faculty collect information and feedback from students and can also visualize these results. These can be used before instruction to learn what students know, during instruction to understand how students are doing, or after instruction to determine what worked and what needs improvement. Both Zoom and Webex have an integrated polling feature you can use in your online class.
*software may not meet UB digital accessibility standards.
Also known as student response systems, clickers allow real-time student feedback. Using a specialized device or smartphone/laptop/tablet, students can be quickly polled or quizzed, and instructors can use clickers to take attendance or perform formative assessments to gauge comprehension.
UB supports both Turning Technologies and Top Hat student response systems.
Social media is a great way to gather input by creating easy to use ‘backchannels.’ Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, when used with care, can serve as platforms for lively discussions.
The ease at which these platforms link with other online resources allows for a huge variety of learning and discussion applications.
Now that you have built your assessments the next step is to build activities.