a photo of shelves and stacks of books
Resources for Assessment
As part of our project, we created a series of resources that we felt would aid teachers in planning their online assessments. These resources were created through experience and are supported by academic research. The created resources are current (created July 2020), relevant (addresses assessment learning outcomes), authoritative (co-created by educators who are students in a Master of Education program), accurate and purposeful (instructional demonstration).
myBlueprint Assessment Strategies:
The myBlueprint video below, is a resource that demonstrates how to utilize myBlueprint as an assessment tool. Students can reflect, explain, justify and demonstrate personal connections through written, video and audio submissions. It is important that teachers choose accessible digital tools for student assessment. Teachers can give valuable and timely feedback on all submissions. This platform allows for continual student-teacher communication, which directly improves student learning.
Formative and Summative Assessment in an Online Environment:
The Infographic below outlines various assessment strategies for both formative and summative assessment. It details which digital tools are well suited to assess students in both online learning and classroom environments. It is important that both formative and summative assessment are imbedded in all learning environments where teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to inform their teaching practices and evaluate students’ learning.
Moodle Formatting for Timely Feedback:
The instructional videos below demonstrate how to structure a class on the Moodle learning platform in order to achieve timely assessment. Moodle was selected to demonstrate what the framework can look like under one central learning management system. Other systems such as Blackboard and Canvas, or combination like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams can use the same formatting framework.
1) Weekly Schedule
3) Student Activity
We are educators who teach at a distance learning school as well as students of a Master of Education Educational Technology: Technology & Innovation in Education. We focused on assessment as a crucial component of learning used in both K-12 and post-secondary education. In order to support other educators, we wanted to examine assessment through the lens of an online learning environment. When integrating formative and summative assessment strategies, teachers should consider the quantity, as creating too many assessments to track student progress can have a negative impact (Vaughan, 2014). Furthermore, formative assessment should include feedback as “…students need to understand and be able to act on the feedback they receive in order to improve their learning” (Weurlander et al.,2012). Harlen, (2005) highlights how summative assessment are ‘high-stakes’ and can cause anxiety for some students or distracts students from using their critical thinking and problem–solving skills. Therefore, it is important that online summative assessment is perceived as ‘low-stakes’ for students, as teachers are not there to reduce anxiety. Furthermore, Shea and Bidjerano (2010) discovered that teaching presence along with teaching students the technological skills they need to complete and navigate given tasks leads to “successful online learning” (p. 1727). Well planned online learning experiences along with feedback, help and encouragement also improves learning success for at risk learners (Hughes, 2007).
In conclusion, when considering online or in-person teaching environments, summative and formative assessments are vital. Formative assessment should be used to continually check in with students about their understanding of content, leading into a summative review of their learning. When assessing students, a variety of tools and strategies should be used in order to reach all learners for both types of assessments. Overall, the focus of this project was to provide teachers with a realistic and comprehensive overview of what assessment in classroom and online environments could entail.
Co-Authored by Faune Nicholas, Jerry Chien, Leanne Huston, and Rochelle Smith
- Harlen, W. (2005). Teachers’ summative practices and assessment for learning – tensions and synergies. The Curriculum Journal, 16(2), 207–223. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585170500136093
- Hughes, G. (2007). Using blended learning to increase learner support and improve retention. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(3), 349-363.
- Shea, P., & Bidjerano, T. (2010). Learning presence: Towards a theory of self-efficacy, self-regulation, and the development of a communities of inquiry in online and blended learning environments. Computers & Education, 55(4), 1721–1731. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.07.017
- Vaughan, N. (2014). Student Engagement and Blended Learning: Making the Assessment Connection. Education Sciences, 4(4), 247–264. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci4040247
- Weurlander, W., & Soderberg, M., & Scheja, M., & Hakan, H., & Wernerson, A., (2012). Exploring formative assessment as a tool for learning: students’ experiences of different methods of formative assessment. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 37.(6). 747-760, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2011.572153