As a very young teacher, I remember pulling all-nighters to get my students’ essays back within the one-week limit I set for myself. Even in those days this “cram grading” was miserable and exhausting; but now at 50—especially with the added responsibilities of husband, father, and homeowner—this style of grading papers is all but impossible.
The intermediate statistics class I took quite a number of years ago had two types of learners at the outset—those who were worried about passing the course and those who were sure they couldn’t pass it. The professor clearly understood the “fear-of-stats” phenomenon and used a number of instructional techniques to help learners gain confidence and skills.
Given student motivation to get grades and the prevalence of cheating, most faculty would never seriously consider letting students grade their own work. However, self-grading, especially of homework, does accrue some significant benefits. It can move students away from doing homework for points to making them more aware of why and how doing problems helps them learn. If students grade their own work, they see exactly where they are making mistakes. And they obtain that feedback far sooner than if the instructor collects the homework, grades it, and then returns it some days later.
In their new book, Designing Effective Assessment: Principles and Profiles of Good Practice, Trudy Banta, Elizabeth Jones, and Karen Black provide assessment profiles from a wide variety of institutions and units. In advance of her online seminar titled Principles and Profiles of Good Practice in Assessment. Dr. Banta answered questions about the book and some of the topics she will discuss next week’s seminar.
Troll through university websites and you’re likely to see mission statements with such lofty phrases as “instill a passion for lifelong learning” or “a commitment to student-centered education.” But what do these things really mean and, more importantly, how do you know you’re doing them?
In 2000, the college of education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) introduced an electronic portfolio system for its students. The goal was to get students to understand their own learning by requiring them to create these portfolios that highlight their work. Building on that success, the university is in the process of implementing myMAPP, (Mapping Academic Performance through ePorfolios), an electronic portfolio system that integrates student, faculty, staff, department, college, and campus performance measures.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities released findings last month from a survey of its members that revealed trends in undergraduate education and documenting the widespread use of a variety of approaches to assessing learning outcomes. The survey shows that campus leaders are focused both on providing students a broad set of learning outcomes and assessing students’ achievement of these outcomes across the curriculum.
Even the most experienced educators can feel overwhelmed when they teach their first hybrid or fully online course. On top of dealing with the time and space constraints of asynchronous learning, there are so many different tools to learn. Tools, it seems, that all of their students either know how to use or master very quickly.
Multiple-choice tests are commonly used to assess achievement of learning objectives because they can be efficient. Despite their widespread use, they’re often poorly designed. Poorly
I don’t know why I didn’t see it before. After 10 years of teaching, I finally realize why students get so nervous about exams. It’s because taking an exam is a performance. It’s just like American Idol , when they are doing the first round of auditions. You can have great natural ability and sound terrific, but when the spotlight shines down as you stand in front of the judges and the TV cameras, can you make it happen?