Tools and Strategies

This is the core section of the website, providing strategies and tools for use in developing online assessment.  Feel free to peruse all content, or to jump right into your topic area of interest.

1. Automatic grading options

A summary of several tools for automatic grading of online assessments, suitable for homework, quizzes, and exam questions.  The human judgement is applied in the construction of the assessment, and the grading is done automatically by computer.  This is generally more suitable for lower-level questions (recall, understanding, and simple application).

2. Streamlining manual grading

A summary of tools and approaches to simplify and streamline instructor and teaching assistant grading of online question.  In this case, the computer is used to collect the assessments and human judgement is applied in the grading.  This is generally more suitable for higher-level questions that do not lend themselves to automatic grading (analysis, evaluation, and creation).

3. Peer grading options

Students can be active participants in the grading process of assessments in several ways.  First, student graders can assess work produced by their peers (i.e., assessment of product).  This has benefits in terms of scalability in large classes where students are able to provide much more timely and detailed feedback than instructors and teaching assistants, which in many cases more than compensates for their lower skill in assessment. In addition, the act of assessing another’s work can be a powerful learning experience on its own.  Second, students can assess the quality of contributions of their teammates (i.e., assessment of process). This is particularly valuable in courses with group or team projects, as in many cases, it is the team members who are best positioned to evaluate each others’ contributions.

4. Alternatives to exams

In considering online assessment, there are many options besides traditional exams, and many benefits (as well as important considerations) in exploring these alternatives.

5. Assessment planning checklist

To close this section, a simple checklist is provided, summarizing key considerations in the development of any assessment.

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