online student on laptop April 4

Five Classroom Assessment Techniques for the Online Classroom

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Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) are valuable tools for helping faculty find out what students are learning and how well they’re learning it. Since the 1988 release of Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers by Thomas Angelo and Patricia Cross, college teachers have been using CATs to gauge student learning and reflect on their teaching. As teachers learn what challenges students are encountering, they can address those deficits and design learning activities to better support student learning before students are confronted with an exam or other high-stakes activities.

But can well-known CATs like the muddiest point and minute papers be used in the online classroom? Yes, with a few modifications, you can use your favorite CATs with online students. Stephanie Delaney, PhD, dean for extended learning at Seattle Central Community College, offers guidance on moving five popular CATs online.

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students in flipped classroom February 7

Four Strategies for Effective Assessment in a Flipped Learning Environment

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Flipped learning environments offer unique opportunities for student learning as well as some unique challenges. By moving direct instruction from the class group space to the individual students’ learning spaces, time and space are freed up for the class as a learning community to explore the most difficult concepts of the course. Likewise, because students are individually responsible for learning the basics of new material, they gain regular experience with employing self-regulated learning strategies they would not have in an “unflipped” environment.

But because initial engagement with new material is done independently as a preparation for class time, rather than as its focus, many things could go wrong. If students do the assigned pre-class work but don’t acquire enough fluency with the basics—or if they simply don’t do it at all—then the in-class experience could be somewhere between lethargic and disastrous. How can an instructor in a flipped learning environment avoid this and instead have consistently engaging and productive learning experiences for students in both the individual and group spaces?


online courses February 2

Rubric Options for an Online Class

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Athletes are often “graded out” by their coaches after a game, and they always know ahead of time the exact criteria that will be used to grade them. An offensive lineman knows that he will be graded on the number…...

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student studying on laptop November 29, 2016

Dos and Don’ts of Effective Feedback

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Do provide feedback that is action-oriented and tells student what they should do with the feedback information. Don't focus exclusively on the cognitive component of learning without considering the impact of feedback on students’ motivation in the online classroom.

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student struggling with test November 14, 2016

Teaching Students How to Manage Feedback

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The classroom is a non-stop hub of feedback: test grades, assignment scores, paper comments, peer review, individual conferences, nonverbal cues, and more. Feedback is essential for student learning.

Still, students’ ability to process and use feedback varies widely. We have some students who eagerly accept feedback or carefully apply rough draft comments, while many others dread or dismiss their professors’ notes or reject exam grades as “unfair.” Although feedback is integral to our classrooms and work spaces, we often forget to teach students how to manage it.


August 26, 2016

PA014: Efficient and Effective Grading

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On this episode, we discuss the article “Ten Tips for More Efficient and Effective Grading” written by Victoria Smith, PhD, and Stephanie Maher Palenque published in Faculty Focus on February 2, 2015. We discuss practical ways to apply these 10 tips based on our experience, such as using a comment bank, frontloading feedback, being mindful of attitude and approach, and avoiding surprises.