This week’s topic is blended assessments of learning. I was able to read it early, for a change, as I’m working the primary election polls today.
I appreciate the emphasis on transfer: “The most crucial step needed in each unit of instruction is the preparation for students’ transfer of learning to new contexts.” This was a Teaching Circle topic earlier this semester and we read a wonderful tale of a teacher‘s struggles with her cadaver dog and her class, with lots of examples of transfer. This is often when the satisfying “Aha!” moments happen.
While traditional multiple choice exams are probably most common, there are many other options, formal and informal. Here’s advice any instructional technologist likes to hear: “Any tool that can be afforded the student should be considered to improve learning.” At the same time, one must exercise caution. Students must have full support, and the Reader provides lots of guidance.
It’s interesting that commercial tools for remote proctoring are now available. I’d be curios to see some of them, but I can’t imagine a case for their use at a small, residential college like OWU.
When creating assessments, it’s important to account for all levels of learning, such as described I’m Bloom’s Taxonomy. The Reader claims that “Authentic assessment–assessing student abilities to apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes to real world problems–is not only possible in an online environment; it is getting more popular.” I agree. Many LMS offer statistics on student engagement, how much time they spend in the online environment and specifically where.
There is ample evidence that students who use self-testing do better on graded exams and other assignments. The more they engage with the course and course materials the better they will grasp it and transfer it. You can even allow students to generate their own questions and use some of them on an actual exam.