Moving Assessment to Remote Learning Within Brightspace

“Nothing that we do to, or for, our students is more important than our assessment of their work and the feedback we give them on it. The results of our assessment influence our students for the rest of their lives and careers—fine if we get it right, but unthinkable if we get it wrong.”

(Race, Brown, & Smith, 2005, p. xi)

We owe it to learners to be clear in our expectations of them and fair in our assessment of those expectations. Having a rubric that sets expectations for learners makes grading easier.

The following information provides ways of assessing learners within the Brightspace environment.

Assessment Types

Class Participation

Benefits

  • Participation in class discussion helps the learner to reflect on the topic, to think how it applies to them, and helps them to internalize content.
  • Discussions enable learners to express their thoughts on a topic.
  • Discussions encourage learners to keep up with the class schedule.
  • Discussions enable the instructor to see who is understanding the material and who may be struggling.

Tips

  • The discussion questions should be ones where students can present their different perspectives. These take time to prepare.
  • Moderating the discussion is important.
  • It works best if you have small group-based discussions.

Questions and Quizzes (using the Brightspace Quizzes Tool)

Benefits

  • Enables easy grading of quizzes.
  • Can provide a large variety of question types.
  • Can provide automatic feedback.

Tips

Papers

Benefits

  • There is a lot of flexibility in the type of paper.
  • Learners are familiar with this.

Tips

  • Assignments can take time to provide clear and useful feedback to learners, but the time investment is worth it.
  • The Assignments tool can be used for papers.

Blog

Benefits

  • Learners can creatively express themselves in a variety of formats.
  • Easy to grade.
  • Can use a variety of tools/applications.

Tips

  • To avoid confusion, set clear expectations for learners.
  • Provide feedback on the first couple of entries of the blog, and watch the quality improve!

Micro-blog (Twitter)

Benefits

  • Encourages learners to be clear and concise in their writing. Since the tweets are short, they can be quick to read.
  • Great for courses that are discussing current events.

Tips

  • CITL created a Tweet aggregator for use in Brightspace which greatly helps with assessment and monitoring of work.

Video

Benefits

  • Great way to show things that may be difficult to do via text; e.g., interviews, hands on activities.
  • Easy to grade.

Tips

  • The Video Assignments tool may be used for submitting videos, since it allows users to record videos using the tool interface.
  • Learners can use the camera that comes built-in with most computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • If using Brightspace, file sizes need to be small, <1GB; therefore, encourage learners to keep the videos short.

Audio

Benefits

  • A great method of assessing learner knowledge of a topic without having learners submit written work.
  • Easy to grade.

Tips

  • The Assignments tool may be used for submitting audio files, since it allows users to record audio using the tool interface.
  • Learners can use the microphone that comes built-in with most computers, tablets, and smartphones.
  • The file size needs to be <1GB.

ePortfolio

Benefits

  • Learners can create over time and can include a variety of artifacts to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and understanding.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Fairly easy to grade, especially if there is a rubric in place. 

Tips

  • The ePortfolio site at Memorial is eportfolio.mun.ca.
  • ePortfolios can be time consuming to create.
  • Encourage learners to focus on the learning evidence rather than the ‘showcase’ aspect of an ePortfolio.

Projects

Benefits

  • Can create options for learners.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Fairly easy to grade, especially if there is a rubric in place. 

Tips

  • Think outside the box. Be creative, allow learners to be creative as they demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
  • Use a staged approach to assessment as a way to provide feedback to students work as their project evolves.

Peer Review

Benefits

  • Learners review each others work, enabling them to learn from one another.
  • Learners develop critical thinking skills.
  • Instructors have a more polished product to read, review, thus grading is faster.

Tips

  • Initially some learners will need to be encouraged to work beyond the grammar stage. They may need help developing their critical thinking skills. A list of guiding questions may help them.
  • peerScholar is one tool that is useful for peer review. For more information, view this peerScholar resource.

References

  • Race, P., Brown, S., & Smith, B. (2005). 500 Tips on assessment. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge Falmer.