Assessment in the online class – webinar follow-up
How do you check learning is or has taken place in your online class? Following our recent webinar, hosted by teacher and educator Danielle Lloyd, we look back at some key takeaways and highlights about linking assessment to learning outcomes, along with teaching tools that can support you in the classroom.
Key highlights and takeaways
- Assessment can often be an afterthought, but what’s the point of teaching someone something if you are not going to check their learning? The worst possible scenario is somebody who has got confused by what you've said, or somebody has not learned anything at all.
- When you are assessing a piece of work or somebody’s skills level, you should be looking for strengths and areas of development. What is it that somebody can do well and, what is it that somebody needs support with? From that, you can measure the progress: how far they have come along, compared to where they started.
- Assessment should always link in with the feedback, as well as explaining how they move forward so that they can progress.
- There are hundreds of online tools, so check that the tools you are using fit the scenario you are trying to achieve. Consider what you are trying to get your students to do and how the online tools fit with what they are doing, their learning styles, and their preferences and needs.
- Why re-invent the wheel? There are a large number of tools available which can help you in the classroom, even if the tool isn’t designed for your particular subject.
- There are three types of assessment: Initial, Formative and Summative. Initial assessments should always feed into whatever you are doing – without that you cannot measure assessment throughout the course of learning. The formative assessment is the ongoing part and is where you assess as you going along. Summative assessment can be described as the exam part at the end of a period of study.
- Learning outcomes are the backbone of any course or any lesson. Make your learning outcomes as SMART as you possibly can.
- Action verbs (Bloom’s Taxonomy) can be used when you are creating a learning outcome – these make your assessment tool much easier.
- Bloom’s levels: Knowledge, Comprehend, Apply, Analyse, Evaluate, Create. Start with the knowledge section and build upon that. When we are learning as an adult, we start by recalling the facts and the knowledge. Think about the action verb and then apply it to the level.
Recommended online tools
Many of these teaching tools can also be used for learning and assessment:
- Kallidus Learn
- Google Forms
- The Answer Pad
- YO Teach!
- Backchannel chat
Questions and answers
- Which apps are easiest for students to access?
Danielle: “In all the ones I’ve shown you today, they will usually give you a code – for example, in Socrative a code is given which the student can then use to access the lesson. If you are using Nearpod in a Zoom class, you will be given a dedicated url which your learners can access once you send it via the chat function or email."
- Do you have to make accounts to use all of these tools?
Danielle: “Yes – I have my ‘online tools’ Gmail address which I use purely as my online tools account. This is also useful in terms of when you have emails going directly into that account.”
- Are there ads in most of these tools?
Danielle: “Some of them do have adverts, but most of the ones I’ve shown today don’t. They don’t often put adverts on them because they are usually designed to be free educational software sites."
- For multiple-choice questions, can any question bank be used?
Danielle: “Yes – it just has to be within the same programme. I often pull in other questions which other people have written and add my own. You can mix and match them – so if you are setting a test with 20 students and you don’t want all of them ringing each other to discuss the answer, you can shuffle them – so students will get a selection of different answers.”