ON DEMAND: Managing Online Weekly Assessment & Saving You Time (15 mins)
Studies indicate that online teaching takes more instructional time than traditional classes. Online instructors often spend a greater amount of time grading students’ weekly work and giving timely feedback. How can we reduce this time so more may be spent on communication and feedback?
Instructors should facilitate meaningful practice before high-stakes assessments. In an online course, content is typically chunked into units that can be assessed. The challenge is balancing the frequency of that assessment. This session focuses on the time sinks of accessing and viewing student work and grading that work.
My courses have a series of weekly exercises posted within Blackboard. Students watch videos and take notes or follow along with video tutorials. These exercises replace in-class activities and are worth points. These exercises always produce some artifact that can be assessed, a 3d model or drawing in my case, but other topics could easily produce written responses. The weekly exercises provide multiple benefits.
They 1) incentivize students to stay on schedule and to do the required materials.
2) Provide an early warning system. Students who haven’t done the exercises will get a querying email.
3) Provide practice before high-stakes assessment.
4) Offer frequent assessment of student work.
Wrangling weekly submissions in Grade Center is slow and tedious. It also can clutter grade center with dozens of grade columns. Solve these issues by having students submit their work to aggregation points outside of grade center. Use Bb discussion forums or OneDrive shares to access student work with each student getting their own named folder or thread. Pros and cons for different shares will be discussed. Each of these provides a sequential artifact of a student’s work over the semester that can easily be browsed and commented on. Instructors can reply to these threads if feedback is needed.