Assessment is an important part of the overall design process for both blended and online courses. Assessment, in this context, is much more than just the student course evaluations that are often done toward the end of the course. Because online and blended courses use a variety of traditional and technological tools, it is important to keep track of which tools and methods are successful in achieving your learning outcomes.
In a traditional course, assessment is often based on a learning process as well as student learning outcomes (SLOs). Once learning moves online, however, there is an additional product that needs to be evaluated and assessed as well. In a traditional face-to-face course, the structural environment is primarily the school and the classroom, which may only have a tangential effect on learning (barring a major annoyance such as no care conditioning). But in online classes and the online portion of a blended class, the website, blog, or learning management system is both the interface and the environment. A broken link to a required resource can be just as disruptive as if the library were to suddenly close for the students on campus. A messy interface with lots of links, but no clear explanation of where to start or no overriding narrative construction is like wandering a sprawling campus without a map. Simple errors such as referring to an assignment in the syllabus as "Discussion One" while on the course site referring to the same assignment as "Forum One" can cause confusion and irritation on the part of the students when they cannot tell if those are the same assignments or two separate assignments.
This page of the toolkit provides a variety of assessments that may be useful for online and blended courses. They range from lists and rubrics that are helpful in the initial development phase to summative assessments for student projects.
Technology and teaching methods are always changing. It is important that every time there is a change in how your course is presented or how it functions, you get feedback that allows you to make better decisions as to the effectiveness of your design.
- Suggested Tools for a Basic Sakai Course - A brief list of the most common tools used in Sakai along with a brief description. Anyone considering a 100% online course should have, at least, these primary areas covered.
- Simple Sakai Site Setup Checklist - A simple to do list and task tracker for creating a course on Sakai. This site set up checklist does not cover any pedagogical issues, but it is a good way to make sure that many of the basics are covered.
- 3 Dimension Assessment Tool - A useful self-assessment tool for your online or blended course that covers 14 different areas across three major categories: Learner support and resources, organization and presentation, and instructional design and delivery.
- RubiStar - A third-party website that simplifies the process of creating a variety of different rubrics.
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