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Introduction to Week 3

In this video, Diana Laurillard introduces ways in which teachers have developed different forms of digital assessment.
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So this week begins by focusing on digital methods for formative assessment. We begin by looking at peer review. And Eileen Kennedy carried out a series of interviews with regular MOOC participants, so they were mostly professional adults. And she found that a key aspect of deep learning for them is what they call meaningful tasks. And of course, peer review is one example of doing a meaningful task. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] - Participants also valued peer-reviewed assignments for learning. Here they understood that there could be value in the motivation to do a task when you know someone else is going to evaluate what you’ve done. And it was the doing of the assignment rather than the review that was useful for some participants.
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But for others it was doing the review. By applying a good rubric you can use peer review to help your learners understand what’s required of them. This post-course survey from another MOOC showed that actually giving a peer review was considered more useful for participants than receiving one. But not everyone was happy with peer review, because they didn’t always trust the reviewer. That’s why it’s better if it’s only one part of an assessment package. It’s not possible to have individual assessment from a tutor on a MOOC, but it is in a smaller class. And if the students have already gone through a cycle of peer review, then it should be simpler for the educator to provide a final assessment.
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[END PLAYBACK] Scott Hayden does blended assessment. And he does that by using video to introduce assessment requirements to his students, and then also uses it to give feedback on their assignments. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] - In the top right and bottom left, you can see me giving an assignment brief out to students and explaining it to them so they can rewind, revise, and revisit the video as many times as they want to get comprehension of what the expectations are for the assignments.
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And as you can see in the bottom left, the assessments at the formative and summative stage, whereby they get video feedback of me looking through their blog work, their assignments, their videos, their sites, whatever it might be, and giving them feedback as I look at it, alongside them, talking to them, down the lens, calling them out by name, more intimate, and focused, and personal. [END PLAYBACK] Matt Smith and Sarah Warrens wanted high levels of engagement with online pre-class activities, so they used automated tests, like quizzes, and then analysed the pre-class quiz responses. That meant they were able to present the students in class with the categories of their responses.
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And so that generated much more discussion and deep learning for the students following on from what they’d done in the pre-class quiz. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] - Clicking Responses takes us into the Moodle quiz response area. As you can see, the responses for each question are visible here. However, rather than reviewing them within Moodle, we download them as a CSV file to open in Excel. Before every lecture, Sarah reviews the responses to see if students have a good grasp of the core knowledge. Any gaps in knowledge she identifies she can then address in the lecture. The other way to link the pre-class learning to the face-to-face time is to incorporate the student responses by collating them, and presenting them to the class.
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Here we have the responses to the Heinz target markets activity. As you can see, some students have identified vegetarians as the primary target market, whilst others think young people. A very simple way of visualising these responses is as a word cloud. Although simple, we have found it to be very powerful. This links the pre-class and face-to-face time, and provides the perfect springboard to start discussions and deepen students’ knowledge in this area. We consider connecting the pre-class and face-to-face activities in this way is key to success with the flipped approach. [END PLAYBACK] Well, that’s a blended way of using quizzes, because they used partly online and asynchronously, and then following up on them synchronously online.
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And that’s a good way to use them, because it gives Sarah a real sense of what her students do and don’t understand. And they’ve structured it so that students know there will be some follow through from their online work. And that’s always motivating. Quizzes also offer automated assessment. And that means less work for the teacher in the longer run. So Elaine has also investigated student views of automated quizzes. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] - But when you’re designing an online course, it’s not always easy to create a meaningful online quiz for many subjects. If you only have multiple choice quizzes available, what do you do?
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One way around that we found when designing MOOCs on topics like education, which doesn’t have very many yes-no answers is to present learners with a scenario or statement, and provide a choice of theoretical concepts that the statement best illustrates so you can get a meaningful test. But the key part of the quiz for practise is the feedback. And it’s here that you can provide a meaningful learning experience. [END PLAYBACK] So we’ll look at all these ways of using online assessment in the first activity this week. And the idea is here to make sure that we achieve that meaningful and powerful learning experience that Elaine, and Scott, and Matt, and Sarah have all been exploring.

The video shows some of the ways digital methods can help with the different types of formative assessment, or assessment for learning (not summative assessment for grading).

We look at 3 types of approach: peer, blended, and automated assessment, in preparation for the next three steps.

The intended learning outcomes for this week are that you will:

  • Develop your teaching as active learning designs for blended and online formative assessment.

  • Collaborate further with other participants to develop teaching community knowledge of blended and online learning.

  • Apply your experience on the course to working collaboratively within your own institution to plan for blended and online learning.

In the peer review activity, we come to the point where the course becomes a collaboration in reality.

You will review each other’s designs, and recommend those you think will be helpful to other teachers.

The Learning Designer website will host all your designs, on a permanent basis, and will have a special section called ‘curated designs’, where we put those that come highly recommended.

We’re not asking for brilliance! You’ll be recommending the designs that other teachers will value – that’s the best kind of contribution we can ask for. It could be that all your designs find their way onto that part of the site.

Finally, we look ahead to the future of blended and online learning in education, and to your institutional role in helping to move that forward.

And in the spirit of continuing collaboration we also invite you to consider being a Mentor in the next run of the course, to pass on some of your own ideas and lessons learned – maintaining that sense of a teaching community able to work together!

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Have you found good ways of using digital methods for formative assessment?

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