As the covid-19 pandemic resulted in a major shift in the teaching practice, the need to actually assess student learning during online classes and hybrid learning is becoming more pressing.
Assessing student learning online can be challenging. Online classes call on teachers to think out of the box about how they assess students and develop assignments that give the advantage of being online.
Before you take your red pen to your inbox full of clunky worksheets, consider these 4 assessment strategies for online classes and hybrid learning.
Good assessment strategies support your learning objectives, engage your students and provide you with insight into your students’ progress. In the process of designing effective assessments, the focus must be on student learning and not student control.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
1. Online Quizzes
Quizzes are considered to be a traditional assessment tool. They are an excellent way to engage students in learning when combined with technology. Multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, and hotspots are examples of quiz questions and are useful for assessing students’ abilities to recognize and recall concepts.
One benefit of quizzes is that they are fairly easy to grade; and when faced with large class size, you may compare and contrast the learning outcomes since each student takes the same quiz.
- You may use Google Forms to create both formative and summative assessments. Its quiz feature allows you to control the way you present the questions. Another feature of Google Forms is that it will grade multiple choice answers, and release results to students via email once you’ve marked their written answers.
- Another great option can be an in-built assessment management tool within your schools’ learning management system. An LMS with quizzes and assessments gives you access to all the tools you need to create effective online quizzes before, during and after your virtual classroom session. You can insert questions at any point and the LMS will handle the rest, everything from grading to real-time results will be taken care of.
2. Video Presentations and Podcasts
Video presentations and podcasts function much more effectively online than they do in the classroom. Especially, when students are involved in longer modules and researches.
With the affordance of modern technology, the possibilities for students to create video presentations are now much more accessible. You must encourage your students to make use of abundant resources and multimedia components for more engaging presentations.
Much like any face-to-face presentations, students can complete the video presentations individually or as a group project. Consider video presentations for the tech-savvy students of your classroom and podcasting as a substitute for oral assessments. You can also be grouping students together to encourage dynamic discussions in online classes.
- Teach your students the fundamentals of online verbal communication, such as speaking clearly into a microphone.
- Have students submit their work online through an online study platform so that they can troubleshoot any uploading issues.
- Allow your students to write a script, storyboard or plan to distil and clearly communicate their ideas within a set time frame. Students could do live presentations to their classmates over Zoom or Google Meet.
- Remember to emphasize the topics covered in their presentation. Good verbal expression and information should be replaced by engaging multimedia.
3. One-on-One Session
Considering either one-on-one time with students or conferences as an assessment strategy within your online classes gives learning a more personal touch. Essentially, a conference is a conversation between you and a group of students on any topic that you would like to assess their learning on.
Holding one-on-one or group conferences with your students is a good way to build relationships. While it also provides the opportunity for immediate correction of errors or reteaching of concepts if students need it.
One-on-one conferences can demonstrate students’ proficiency or hobbies and are proven to be beneficial to meet the learning requirements of each student.
The assessment benefit to conferencing in hybrid learning and online classes is that it raises an early red flag regarding students’ progress. Hence, you get a clear snapshot of students’ knowledge and skills, allowing you to respond to a problem immediately, rather than at the end of a unit. It can include a mentoring component enabling students to get immediate feedback and make them feel more responsible towards studies.
- To make conferencing work, have a goal in mind. Understand which skills your students master and what skills are your students struggling with the most? Having a purpose that is clear to you and your students will make your conferences truly effective.
- Use web conferencing tools like Zoom to carry out your plan. For best results, take the time to plan out your conferences before it begins. Prepare yourself in advance and schedule a time for the conference to occur. Allow your students a way to provide feedback.
4. Higher Order Thinking Assignments
Higher-order thinking also known as HOTS, takes thinking to higher levels and requires more cognitive processing than others, but also has more generalized benefits. HOTS involve analysis, evaluation and creation of new knowledge. It allows for increased student participation as well as authentic evaluation of both in-class and online students’ learning.
Higher-order thinking entails the learning of complex judgmental skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. It allows your assessments to be multidimensional. The interdisciplinary nature of HOTS based assignment enables balanced assessments in a variety of categories. It is proven to be useful to work through the creative process with students and allows for a variety of assessment strategies like conversations and observations.
Higher-order thinking assignments can help you determine if your students are actually displaying the kind of complex thinking that current educational standards emphasize.
We understand it’s important to get students to engage in “higher-order thinking.” But what does higher-order thinking actually look like? And how can your K-12 classroom assess it across the disciplines?
Ask students to analyze and create media products using principles of persuasion, practising self-evaluation of literacy skills and goal setting through metacognition, and creating digital stories.
- Ask students to predict the next term in an increasing arithmetic series such as 2, 5, 9, 14 ____.
Wrapping it Up!
Finding and experimenting with strategies to consistently and fairly assess your students during online classes and hybrid learning is essential to ensure they develop life-long skills.
Need more help with teaching resources?
Check out our blog on Six Strategies For Teachers to Improve Online Teaching and How to Gamify Your Classroom?