Online assessment

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Online assessment is the process used to measure certain aspects of information for a set purpose where the assessment is delivered via a computer connected to a network. Most often the assessment is some type of educational test. Different types of online assessments contain elements of one or more of the following components, depending on the assessment's purpose: formative, diagnostic, or summative. Instant and detailed feedback, as well as flexibility of location and time, are just two of the many benefits associated with online assessments. There are many resources available that provide online assessments, some free of charge and others that charge fees or require a membership.

Purpose of assessments[edit]

Assessments are a vital part of determining student achievement. They are used to determine the knowledge gained by students and to determine if adjustments need to be made to either the teaching or learning process.[1]

Types of online assessments[edit]

Online assessment is used primarily to measure cognitive abilities, demonstrating what has been learned after a particular educational event has occurred, such as the end of an instructional unit or chapter. When assessing practical abilities or to demonstrate learning that has occurred over a longer period of time an online portfolio (or ePortfolio) is often used. The first element that must be prepared when teaching an online course is assessment. Assessment is used to determine if learning is happening, to what extent and if changes need to be made.[2]

Independent Work

Independent work is work that a students prepares to assist the instructor in determining their learning progress. Some examples are: exercises, papers, portfolios, and exams (multiple choice, true false, short answer, fill in the blank, open ended/essay or matching). To truly evaluate, an instructor must use multiple methods.

Most students will not complete assignments unless there is an assessment (i.e. motivation). It is the instructors role to catalyze student motivation. Appropriate feedback is the key to assessment, whether or not the assessement is graded.[3]

Group Work

Students are often asked to work in groups. With this brings on new assessment strategies. Students can be evaluated using a collaborative learning model in which the learning is driven by the students and/or a cooperative learning model where tasks are assigned and the instructor is involved in decisions.[4]

Uses of online assessments[edit]

Pre-Testing - Prior to the teaching of a lesson or concept, a student can complete an online pretest to determine their level of knowledge. This form of assessment helps determine a baseline so that when a summative assessment or post-test is given, quantitative evidence is provided showing that learning has occurred.

Formative Assessment - Formative assessment is used to provide feedback during the learning process. In online assessment situations, objective questions are posed, and feedback is provided to the student either during or immediately after the assessment.

Summative Assessment - Summative assessments provide a quantitative grade and are often given at the end of a unit or lesson to determine that the learning objectives have been met.

Practice Testing - With the ever-increasing use of high-stakes testing in the educational arena, online practice tests are used to give students an edge. Students can take these types of assessments multiple times to familiarize themselves with the content and format of the assessment.

Surveys - Online surveys may be used by educators to collect data and feedback on student attitudes, perceptions or other types of information that might help improve the instruction.

Evaluations - This type of survey allows facilitators to collect data and feedback on any type of situation where the course or experience needs justification or improvement.

Performance Testing - The user shows what they know and what they can do. This type of testing is used to show technological proficiency, reading comprehension, math skills, etc. This assessment is also used to identify gaps in student learning.

New technologies, such as the Web, digital video, sound, animations, and interactivity, are providing tools that can make assessment design and implementation more efficient, timely, and sophisticated.

Academic Dishonesty[edit]

Academic dishonesty, commonly known as cheating, occurs in all levels of educational institutions. In traditional classrooms, students cheat in various forms such as hidden prepared notes not permitted to be used or looking at another student’s paper during an exam, copying homework from one another, or copying from a book, article or media without properly citing the source. Individuals can be dishonest due to lack of time management skills, pursuit for better grades, cultural behavior or a misunderstanding of plagiarism.[5]

Online classroom environments are no exception to the possibility of academic dishonesty. It can easily be seen from a student’s perspective as an easy passing grade. Proper assignments types, meetings and projects can prevent academic dishonesty in the online classroom.[6]

Types of Academic Dishonesty[edit]

Two common types of academic dishonesty are identity fraud and plagiarism.

Identity fraud can occur in the traditional or online classroom. There is a higher chance in online classes due to the lack of proctored exams or instructor-student interaction. In a traditional classroom, instructors have the opportunity to get to know the students, learn their writing styles or use proctored exams. To prevent identity fraud in an online class, instructors can use proctored exams through the institutions testing center or require students to come in at a certain time for the exam. Correspondence through the phone or video conferencing techniques can allow an instructor to become familiar with a student through their voice and appearance. Another option would be personalize assignments to students backgrounds or current activities. This allows the student to apply it to their personal life and gives the instructor more assurance the actual student is completing the assignment. Lastly, an instructor may not make the assignments heavily weighted so the students do not feel as pressured.[7]

Plagiarism is the misrepresentation of another person’s work. It is easy to copy and paste from the internet or retype directly from a source. It is not only the exact wordage, but the thought or idea.[8] It is important to learn to properly cite a source when using someone else’s work.

Various websites are available to check for plagiarism for a fee.[9]

www.canexus.com, www.catchitfirst.com, www.ithenticate.com, www.mydropbox.com, www.turnitin.com

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  2. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  3. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. pp. 83–86. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  4. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. pp. 86–89. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  5. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  6. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  7. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  8. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7. 
  9. ^ Rovai, Alfred; Ponton, Michael; Baker, Jason (2008). Distance Learning in Higher Education: A programmatic Approach to Planning, Design, Instruction, Evaluation, and Accreditation. Teachers College Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8077-4878-7.