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Assessment Strategies

Aspden, L. J., Bannister, P. W., Helm, P. A., & Purvis, A. J. (2011) Assessment strategies to support higher level learning in blended delivery. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 48 (1), 91-100.  Retrieved from  http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ917693&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ917693
This article explores the results of utilizing computer assisted assessment strategies to enhance student learning at the higher education level.   The article contends that assessments can go beyond the boundaries of assessing students’ learning and reach further in their usefulness as an actual tool to enhance learning during the learning process.  The central theme is incorporating assessments to increase motivation and support, as well as opportunities to improve work before final grading.  Two groups form the evaluation conclusions and the results from each group are summarized.

The article concludes that confidence is a key component for students to effectively communicate and participate in an on-line forum.  The assessments and feedback students received during the course served to build confidence, offer support and create guidance to increase overall performance.  This article is interesting in that a major factor in considering the end goal of a lesson is not simply to measure students’ knowledge at the point that an assignment is graded, but to allow assessments to build knowledge prior to the grading process.  Those developing courses may find this article interesting due to the potential capabilities that continuous assessments offer in student centered eLearning.

Submitted 3/4/2013 bmitcheff

Assessing Student Learning. Northern Arizona University e-Learning Center. Retrieved from: http://www2.nau.edu/~d-elearn/support/tutorials/pedagogy/02assessinglearning.php

This page discusses the assessment phase of the three step “backward design” process of instructional development.  It is in fact a tutorial of the assessment process and describes the steps and expected outcomes of the assessment process. There are references and links to sources used and information available on the subject.

I found this very informative and have ordered a copy of the textbook referenced in the tutorial. The fact that this material is used by a university leads me to believe that the information is credible and has merit. The process steps seem very straight-forward.

Submitted: 10/12/2012 kbrinson

Assessment in online learning environments. (October 2011).  Retrieved from: http://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/publ/research/publ/learningplatformsdlp3.pdf

This article focuses on assessment in online learning in regards to the Ultranet, which makes it possible to give and receive feedback in many ways for the students, parents and instructors.  There are four categories for developing 21st century skills, ways of thinking, ways of working, tools for working, and skills for living in the world.  The dilemma comes in how to access these skills.  Personalized assessment allows the instructor to adapt to different students’ learning requirements.  A test bank of questions can be assessed and indexed so that learners are given tests that match their abilities.

I agree that our students are changing in their needs and that we need to adapt teaching, learning and assessment to better evaluate what they are learning, but having a test bank of questions indexed so that the harder questions go to the more advanced students and the easier questions being used to evaluate those that may not be “up to par” concerns me, especially in healthcare.  We have national registry exams that our students must pass to consider them entry level and competent. 

Submitted: 10-8-12 tdelker

Bart, M. (August 8, 2011).To Make Assessment Manageable Keep it Simple and Be Flexible. Faculty Focus Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/educational-assessment/to-make-assessment-manageable-keep-it-simple-and-be-flexible/

This article reminds us how sometimes less can be more; this concept should be used when implementing assessments. The assessment should be a manageable tool that is easy to implement for the designer, and simple enough that students can provide feedback if learning outcomes are not being met. For the instructional designer it is important to keep a watchful eye, and examine the assessment process very carefully. Avoid the rigorous assessments, and to reach this goal, instructional designers should be experts regarding the content they create. Instructional designers should only create assessments for items that are paramount to the learner. By simplifying assessments it will allow the assessment to be much more flexible and adaptable to peers needs as well. Instructional designers should be reminded that every assessment is not the same, and as such the better prepared and simplified the assessment is will be more valuable to the institution and the student.

The article in Faculty Focus written by Mary Bart provides at short focus on the need for manageable and simplified assessments. The article provides analogies and examples of avoiding traps of trying to fit all assessments into a standard rubric as means to say the assessment is properly implemented. The writer further examines how simplified less rigorous assessments are a value to a person that is a member of a faculty or an institution. The importance to constantly examine and evaluate course content is stated but the concept was not clarified to provide value to in creating an assessment. The article fails to give very detailed examples of assessments that may fail versus assessments that will be successful in managing. The author Mary Bart has written several articles for Faculty Focus, and this article is intended for audience that is in higher education. The article would be an excellent resource for an instructional designer at a traditional college or a proprietary school.

Submitted: 03/04/13 wowens

Bassoppo-Moyo, T. C. (2008). Applying needs assessment and strategic planning techniques in developing e-learning. International Journal of Instructional Media, 35(4), 373+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA273359027&v=2.1&u=lirn22974&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w

 This article encourages needs assessment and strategic planning when implementing e-learning. Bassoppo-Moyo (2008) states that technology should not drive instructional design or assessment, rather the planning, and best practices of the learning environment should be done before a course is implemented into the technology. The article also describes recommendations for performing a needs assessment, strategic planning and vision statement exercise for an online course.

This article’s approach to strategic planning is well informed. It would be beneficial for anyone who is looking to implement an e-learning strategy into their organization.  I found it interesting that the author focuses on first creating the ideal learning environment for the student, based on goals and outcomes desired, and then implementing it into the technology. I do believe it probably happens the other way around in many situations.Link below available through USF subscription database.

Submitted 10/12/12 bcovelli

 Batson, Trent. (2010) Assessing student work in the open educational resources era. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2010/04/21/assessing-student-work-in-the-open-educational-resources-era.aspx

This article takes a non-statistical look at the evolution of the role media and other educational opportunities have played in transitioning standard classroom time into a multimedia culture that allows for a greater opportunity of diverse learning.   The evolution of student assessments based on testing from text book learning has turned to a student-centered approach that allows the instructor to seek continual feedback from students.   The feedback received from the continual student assessment of the material allows the educator to tailor his/her experience in the exploration of the current topic to relate to the students questions and understanding of material at the level they are at, and the knowledge they seek for the topic.

The author was an English professor and has 25 years in educational technology.   He explores the changing environment from test oriented student assessments to what he defines as student commentary.  He claims the student commentary, or continuous assessment from students allows for a more flexible learning approach that promotes metacognition.  The article supports the evolution of student-centered learning in the assessment process.  While the article is interesting it does have a presumption that “no multimedia resource can trump this human interaction,” referring to “seat time,” in a traditional classroom.   While the sociability of humans is undeniable, it is the quality of instruction no matter the type of class, online or classroom. 

Submitted 3/4/2013 bmitcheff

Boettcher, J. V. (02/23/11). Evidence of learning online: Assessment beyond the paper. Campus Technology. Retrieved from http://campustechnology.com/articles/2011/02/23/assessment-beyond-the-paper.aspx

While on-line education has made strides in advancing traditional learning, the one aspect that lingers is the dreaded writing of the research paper.  The author contends that less time-consuming methods can demonstrate that learning has occurred.  She discusses the “cognitive-surplus” theory wherein motivated humans have a desire to create and to share within their respective fields of study.

Examples of alternative projects that can demonstrate competency beyond the typical research paper include producing “real-life” work such as interviews, case studies, and audio-visual projects. The author maintains that having a variety of end-of-year projects to choose from stimulates the student, taps into their creativity, and puts accountability into the learning experience.

I think the digital publication “Campus Technology” is a credible resource as it is not affiliated with any one particular technology or university.  The author presents a well-balanced and interesting perspective of how we can expand upon the traditional expectations of an end-of-year term paper and use technology to maximize learning.  While it has been my experience that professors of graduate programs assign projects other than traditional term papers, I believe they are still assigned on a regular basis, particularly in an undergraduate curriculum.  Maybe it’s time a blended approach for assessment be considered as a way to evolve for the next generation.

Submitted 10-14-12 mgreek

Challis, D.  (2005).  Committing to quality learning through adaptive online assessment.  Assessment And Evaluation In Higher Education, 30(5), 519-527.

In the Assessment and Evaluation Journal, Di Challis discusses how adaptive assessment can be of more use than other standard forms of assessment in the online environment.  The author brings up some flaws associated with standard summative evaluations where students are asked to recall and regurgitate information that they may or may not have learned.  The remainder of the article sets out to differentiate adaptive assessment for learning from adaptive assessment for achievement.  This article appears to be suited for someone who is familiar with education assessments in the online environment but is looking to improve performance.  With many references and being published in a scholarly journal, this article is recommended as a credible source. 


Submitted on 9/28/14 hollingsworth

Crisp, G. (2010, January 10). Interactive e-assessment--practical approaches to constructing more sophisticated online tasks. Journal of Learning Design, 3(3). Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ903926.pdf

This article highlights Assessment 2.0 and some of the practical options that are available to teachers in the field of mathematics and sciences. Assessment 2.0 describes an environment in which the teacher sets tasks that allow students to use more dynamic, immersive and interactive environments for exploring and creating responses to sophisticated assessment tasks. Assessments will become more like sophisticated games incorporating role-playing and scenarios; they will replicate many of the complexities of the real world, allowing students to explore and describe the consequences associated with their responses. This article looks at how teachers can begin this journey through the use of simple interactive tools incorporated into familiar question types available in common learning management systems.

The author proposes an e-assessment design model based on the incorporation of URL link to a digital tool within questions developed using quiz tools in common learning management systems. The emphasis is on students being able to access digital tools and develop self-analytical skills in determining and selecting the appropriate response. The author provided a table with descriptors for e-assessment tasks using digital tools in assessing: understanding, application, analysis, evaluation and creativity. Screen images of Java applet examples of digital tools embedded in e-assessment questions were also provided throughout the article as well.

Submitted 3/12/11 cbmack

DeSouza- Hart, J.A. (2010). Biology blogs: An online journal club & assessment tool. The American Biology Teacher, 72(3).

This article was written in the award-winning journal, The American Biology Teacher; a peer-refereed journal for K-16 biology teachers.  Author, Janet De Souza-Hart, discussed how she used a blog to develop critical science communication skills.    An open-ended question and reading assignment related to a recent discovery or controversial topic within the genetics field were posted on the blog.   Students were assessed on both the quantity and quality of their posts; quality includes evidence of content mastery, critical thinking and analysis.  De Souza-Hart also created blog assessment questions, in MCAT/GRE format, for inclusion on the final and midterm exams.

This article detailed how the use of a blog could effectively be used as an assessment tool in a science course.  This blog provided an opportunity for authentic assessment as students had to synthesize lectures, reading material and other course content to support their opinions as posted on the blog.  Students had to demonstrate the same analytical, critical thinking and writing skills they would be expected to use in communicating with their peers in the scientific community.    Blog content was also included on the midterm and final exams, in MCAT/GRE format, to provide another opportunity to assess student’s understanding of the content.

Submitted 03/13/2011 cbanks

Eatchel, N. (May , 2007).Online testing making it count. Elearn Magazine 
Retrieved from

This article explores the increase need of computer-based testing (CBT) or on-line assessment tools. Assessments have grown exponentially as instruction is delivered in distant learning formats for companies, educational institutions, and other agencies.  As technology grows there is a real concern of bad-actors or “cheaters” with the large amounts of content and various methods to assess learners, organizations must select the best practices for implementing these solutions.  Assessments must be legal, grammatically correct; therefore adaptive web-based options are favored as they decrease the risk of cheating. Organizations should way pros and cons versus CBT’s and web-based learning options for assessment.
The article in Elearn Magazine clearly defines the importance of assessment and the value of web-based assessments versus computer based training options. The author gives clear examples with the needs of psychometrics, content banks, and legality development as reasons to support the argument of a move from CBT’s to web-based solutions and content for assessment. Although, well covered from development needs, the article lacked discussing other elements like flexibility or database management advantages with web-based assessments versus CBT’s. The article would be a useful tool for consideration for any instructional designer, training department or learning officer trying to implement quality learning.
Submitted:  02/04/13 wowens

Fluckiger, J., Vigil, Y., Pasco, R., & Danielson, K. (2010). Formative feedback: Involving students as partners in assessment to enhance learning. College Teaching, 58(4), 136-140.


The article discusses the effectiveness of giving timely feedback to students.  The authors believe the frequency of the feedback and the involvement of students giving feedback to each other play an effective and positive role in the teaching and learning process.  The authors discuss four formative feedback methods they have used and then analyze each method.  The main concept of the article is that using formative feedback which incorporates the students as partners is a key element in the teaching and learning environment.  This will create a productive classroom where the focus is on learning and not on grading.

By involving a student, that student is empowered to take control of his or her education.  The education and success become the property of the student, not the teacher or the institution.  The student becomes involved and learns how to apply the knowledge to other situations.  The authors stress student involvement equals student and teacher growth.  Taking the time to include student participation in assessment will result in benefits for both the students and the teacher.  This will create a classroom focused on learning and the student and not on grading. http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a927403136

Submitted 10/17/2010 kautrey       

Gilman, T. (March 2010). Designing effective online assignment. The Chronicle of Higher Education.74, 206. p.55413 (2).Retrieved October 1, 2010, http://chronicle.com/article/Designing-Effective-Online/64772/.

 Every teacher (online or in the traditional classroom) wants to create valuable learning experience for their students. Part of the experience includes effective methods of assessment. Distance education poses several challenges for assessment. Common concerns are cheating, student and faculty disengagement and single method assessment.

Online faculty must consider the topic they are teaching and effective ways to evaluate the student to ensure maximum successful for the class. The author suggests being as specific as possible when providing directions, offer examples of work, and steer clear of group work as a few “best practices”. To avoid cheating, research assignments, journal reviews, discussion threads are effective method of assessment.

Submitted: 10/01/2010 adevore

Kaya, T. (November 7, 2010). A 'stealth assessment' turns to video games to measure thinking skills. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/A-Stealth-Assessment-Turns/125276/ 

This article by Travis Kaya details the work of Valerie Shute in the area of “stealth assessment.”  The goal of stealth assessment is to administer tests without the student knowing that they are being assessed and rather than just measuring what they know, it takes a closer look at how the student thinks.  Ms. Shute’s work focuses on using games to look at core competencies of critical thinking, empathy, and persistence.  She also looks for ways that teaching can be changed on the fly to address deficiencies revealed through game play.

As we continue to complete globally, it important to keep in mind that a skill set that contains more than just wrote knowledge is essential for success.  In our assessment we have to look for ways to identify creative thinking, the ability to problem solve and see complex relationships between ideas.  Games are often overlooked as mere leisure experiences or scoffed at as distracting (my mother would argue that they rot your brain).  However by mixing play with learning and assessing we are able to remove some of the stress factors that traditional testing can impose upon the learner and identify deeper learning that is taking place.

Submitted: 3/12/2011 rsoulliere

Keramati, A., Ashfari-Mofrad, M., & Kamrani, A. (2002). The role of readiness factors in e-learning outcomes: An empirical study. Computers & Education, 57, 1919-1929. Retrieved from http://www.phd-in-progress.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/06.pdf

This article discusses the role of readiness factors and its relationship between e-learning factors and e-learning outcomes. Readiness factors are divided into three main groups - technical, organizational, and social – and according to the article, organizational readiness factors have the most influence on e-learning outcomes. In addition, a teacher’s motivation and training also has significant impact on e-learning.

While the article provides insights to the importance of readiness and preparation in e-learning outcomes, the article can be confusing in terms of methodology. The study itself is not so much a discussion of experimental results, but rather a discussion of students’ perception on readiness factors and e-learning outcomes. The questionnaire listed in the Appendix, however, can be useful for research purposes on readiness, since not many studies on readiness factors and e-learning exist.


submitted: 9/28/2014 pclemente

Lam, T. C. M. (1995) Fairness in performance assessment. Eric digest. Retrieved from http://www.ericdigests.org/1996-4/fairness.htm

Tony Lam confronts dilemmas and bias that exist in dealing with issues of fairness in performance assessments. Although standardized assessments advocates assessing all students in a standardized manner, the question remains does it really provide equality and equity among students of a different gender, ethnicity, race, linguistic background, socioeconomic status or handicapping conditions. Lam addresses an array of issues that may contribute to biases including metacognitive skills, culturally influenced processes, social skills and inadequate or undue assistance form authority figures. After reading the article it definitely made me reevaluate my thoughts about performance assessments. Mr. Lam not only brings awareness to the issue of biases that may exist among groups, but encourages the continued research for a sound and practical performance assessment equal for all students. While I do believe there have been improvements in the assessment process over the years, I think the article would be beneficial to any teacher or practitioner that works with a diverse group of individuals.

Submitted: 03/13/11 sbowman

Mateo, J.  (2007).  Designing online learning assessment through alternative approaches:  facing the concerns.  European Journal of Distance and E-learning (vol. two).  Retrieved from:  http://www.eurodl.org/?p=archives&year=2007&halfyear=2

In the European Journal of Open, Distance and E-learning, Dr. Joan Mateo gives a brief synapses of the problems that educators are facing with the assessment of distance learning.  After the introduction of problems, she continues by discussing why the classical model of course assessment has limitation in the online environment.  She completes her article by discussing new methods of assessment design and offers some alternative models that may be employed which are better suited for distance programs.  This article seems best suited for someone who is looking to build a case to use a new form of program evaluation.  The article presents itself as credible but there seems to be a bit of bias in the article despite an extensive reference list.  


Submitted on 09/28/14 chollingsworth

McConnell, D. (2002). The experience of collaborative assessment in e-learning. Studies in Continuing Education, 24(1), 73-92. Retrieved from http://www.pro-blearning.net/pluginfile.php/29/mod_data/content/730/Collaborative%20assessment.pdf

This article reviews the process of using collaborative assessment in e-learning environments in order to involve the students, their peers, and tutors in the “thoughtful and critical examination of each student’s course work” (2002, abstract). The article explains the appropriateness of using such strategies for assessment, discusses how collaborative assessment can become a learning experience, and the focus for assessment. McConnell claims that collaborative assessment is a “learning event” allowing students to build a sense of responsibility to others, develop collaborative assessment skills, understand others’ learning techniques, and be more motivated to learn.

For those looking for more engaging and active ways for students and teachers to be involved in the learning and assessment process, this article is a valuable resource. The article clearly explains the needs and benefits of collaborative assessment. The examples of the responses McConnell received during interviews and surveys were some of the most interesting parts of the article. Also interesting is the article’s discussion on whether participation should be assessed. Perhaps a follow-up article on whether or not there were significant effects in scores or other objective measures as a result of collaborative assessment would be helpful.


submitted: 9/28/2014 pclemente

McCracken, J., Cho, S., Sharif, A., Wilson, B., & Miller, J. (2012). Principled assessment strategy design for online courses and programs. Electronic Journal Of E-Learning, 10(1), 107-119. Retrieved from EBSCOhost: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ969449.pdf.

This article discusses four case studies of online and virtual courses that made it a point to use clearly defined assessment strategies. In all four cases course designers worked closely with instructors to create assessment strategies that aligned with the course objectives. The types of assessment each case used were peer, self, and instructor. Each case had a discussion of the assessment strategies specific to the course, and the lessons learned from using those strategies. In the end each course was successful in their assessment strategies because of how closely aligned they were to measuring the learning outcomes and course objectives for each student.

The meat of the usable information lies in the Lessons Learned sections of each of the case studies. That was the part where the authors gave the pros and cons of each assessment strategy for that specific case. This information is very useful to course objective writers creating similar formats of courses. The authors make it a point to share with the reader the importance of clear and focused assessment strategies in online and virtual learning. It reiterates the need for different strategies to be used for online learner assessment to measure the learning taking place.

Submitted 9/20/13: sweldy

 Nakayama, M., Yamamoto, H., & Santiago, R. (2010). The role of essay tests assessment in e-learning: A japanese case study. Electronic Journal Of E-Learning, 8(2), 173-178. Retrieved from EBSCOhost: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ895705.pdf.

The goal of the research in this article was to show if essay tests are a quality way to assess learning outcomes in hybrid and fully online university courses. Students in two different courses, one bachelor’s level and one master’s level, both offered in hybrid and fully online formats, were assessed at the end of their courses with an essay exam and a multiple choice exam.  The results of these exams show that there is no significant difference in learner outcomes in the different formats when measured by essay exams, but students in the hybrid courses scored significantly higher than those in the fully online course when assessed with the multiple choice test.

This research is interesting because it shows that essay exams are a good assessment of learner outcomes regardless of course format. Since students can express what they have learned in a directed, yet open-ended, essay, learning outcomes can be better measured than with multiple choice exams where there is one correct answer. Also, multiple choice exams leave no room for the expression of prior experience, and it limits ones knowledge to what was taught in the class, not taking into account understanding of that knowledge. In studying this article I agree with the results of essays being a quality way to assess learning outcomes in online course formats.

Submitted 9/19/13: sweldy

On-Line Assessment: Assessing Learning in Australian Universities. Retrieved from: http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/assessinglearning/03/online.html

This article covers reason s for the use of on-line assessment of students and possible pitfalls of doing so. Some of the advantages of this type of assessment are the use of a broader range and diversity of tasks, the ability to provide more timely feedback and flexibility for student and instructor alike. However, there are those who feel that this practice may have a negative influence on teaching and learning. If such assessment relies too heavily on multiple choice or true/false type responses, students are not challenged and therefore a lower level of effort is required in order to satisfactorily pass assessment.

The article makes good points for the use of on-line assessment and warnings to help avoid potential issues. It also includes suggestions for alternatives to multiple choice type questions. I believe the utilization of on-line assessment will continue to increase even for more traditional in-person courses. The flexibility offered helps both parties.

Submitted 10/12/2012 kbrinson

Rastgoo, A., & Namvar, Y. (2010). Assessment approaches in virtual learning. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 11(1), 42-48. http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ886451.pdf

Rastgoo and Namvar discuss the need for more than just traditional methods and tools of assessment to measure student ability.  The authors look at some methods and tools in online education; discuss the importance of these methods and tools; describe the advantages and disadvantages of new methods and tools of assessment; and review the effects of some new methods and tools of assessment on student learning.

The authors make a valid point on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of traditional assessment methods in online learning.  Rastgoo and Namvar state that "assessment is part of the learning process" (par 3).  Consequently, including students in the assessment process should be incorporated into the design of the online class.  This incorporation would be a positive aspect of the student's learning, empowering students to take control of their learning and improving knowledge retention.

Submitted 10/16/2010 kautrey

Shank, P. (December 19, 2005).Avoiding Assessment Mistakes That Compromise Competence and Quality. Learning Solutions Magazine

Retrieved from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/241/avoiding-assessment-mistakes-that-compromise-competence-and-quality

The article argues the importance and the need of adequate and accurate assessments for better learning outcomes. Many assessments have previously lacked consideration in the design process, and that oversight could cause several legal problems for organizations. Designers should remember that a proper assessment delivered validates the outcome of the course, and content. To reach the goal of adequate assessments, we must have constant evaluation as designers. Evaluation is considered to a part of the process in assessment. The properly implemented assessment ensures that instruction is not missing components, as well as meeting the learner’s objectives. It is important to integrate evaluation and assessment in the design process. Assessments performed with care will allow instructional designers to avoid the common mistakes of wrong learning styles, poorly written content, and ambiguous learning. Avoiding these mistakes and taking careful planning to integrate assessments in your design will help learners achieve learning outcomes as a result.

The article written by Patti Shank, PHD in Learning Solutions Magazine serves as a warning to pitfalls of not taking assessments seriously in the instructional design process. The author provides several examples of proper actions in designing assessments. The article provides a well define description of evaluation, assessment, and instruction. Clearly, explaining how each component in the instructional design process is integrated and can impact the learning outcomes when pitfalls are not avoided. The article is an excellent resource for anyone that is designing a course for a company, school, or project. The author Patti Shank, PHD is internationally-recognized as an instructional designer; she has authored several books and presently is the Director of Research at the eLearning Guild. Dr. Shank’s expertise and explaining the different roles in instruction, evaluation, and assessment were outstanding. The importance of quality assessments was well written explained and detailed in the article.

Submitted: 03/04/13 wowens

Sivula, M. (2012, December). The best assessment tools for the online classroom:Instructor feedback and e-documents. eLearn Magazine. Retrieved from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2407139

Author Sivula reviews hardware and software and Web 2.0 tools that are available to instructors to grade and assess e-documents. Many assignments are submitted by students in the form of e-documents. Issues can arise when trying to give timely and constructive feedback to students when grading, evaluating or providing direction. Dragon Naturally Speaking is one method that can be used by instructors to decrease the time needed to type a response to each student. The program translates voice clips to text. The author claims his computer time has been cut in half when using this product. Another new concept is inking or digital inking. These programs allow you to write in cursive on a word processed e-document. The program allows you to add in arrows and circles so that the instructions are visual and do not need to be typed into each document. The section on screen capturing reviews a product called Jing. Jing allows up to 5 minutes of screen capture. The author has used this product to teach short procedures such as accessing part on the CMS or explaining procedures.

This article would be a great help to an instructor who is assessing e-documents. I had not thought of it before reading this article, but the instructor may need to learn new procedures as well as the student in the e-learning arena. These products could allow more timely communication and feedback from the instructor when they are assessing documents. It would also take less time for the instructor to complete these tasks. It was helpful that the author tried these products and explained what other systems he was using them with. At the end he closes with some tips for learning new assessment methods that would help the instructor apply these methods to real world examples.

Submitted: 9/22/2013 jwiese

Standdahl, F. (2008, November). Student outcomes assessment plan: Course assessments and program reviews.  Retrieved from http://www.pdc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Student-Outcomes-Assessment-Plan_1-15-09.pdf

In his paper, Dr. Jerry Standahl, explains that in order for an e-learning course to be successful, there must be goals and objectives established. These goals are especially important for e-learning students, because they need these guidelines in order to create an effective learning environment. Instructors must take assessments of the student’s work by giving them proper feedback. There are several different types of assessment plans available, and instructors need to find one that works best for them. They will then be able to enhance their own teaching methods from the assessment of the student’s learning progress, and create a proper learning atmosphere for students.

This paper is a credible resource that many instructors can use. This paper is not limited to e-learning instructors only. Every instructor could incorporate these assessment steps into their courses, and it could greatly benefit them and their students.


Submitted: 9/14/2014 rweber

Stiggin, R. (2007) Assessment through the student’s eyes. Educational Leadership, volume 64, number 8. Retrieved from  http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may07/vol64/num08/Assessment-Through-the-Student's-Eyes.aspx

The article discusses the emotional aspect of the assessment experience for a student from both a winning and losing perspective. While both have vastly different thoughts, feelings and reactions to the assessment experience, Mr. Stiggin discuss ways teachers can help enhance learning for all students. Stiggin’s gives great detail examples of the emotional dynamics that students may be going through and how to effectively change an attitude of hopelessness into optimism. He also discuss how the potential of assessment for learning has gone largely untapped because the proper tools have failed to be put into the hands of teachers and school leaders. Mr. Stiggin states only by redefining the vision of excellence in the assessment process can the balance of the assessment for learning can take place. I like the fact that he gives two scenarios for readers to grasp the concept of using assessments to motivate students and build confidence. Two suggestions I found to be important is for teachers to move from exclusive reliance on assessments that verify learning to the assessment that support and enhance student learning, and the need for teachers and students to become partners in the learning process. I found the article to be quite interesting and very informative in regards to the assessment process and an excellent way for teachers to produce positive results in students.

Submitted: 03/13/11 sbowman

Thompson, N.(2008) Adaptive and interactive assessments with e-learning. Retrieved from:http://www.astd.org/LC/2008/1108_thompson.htm

The assessment process is quite underserved in e-learning when compared to instructional design or delivery, but is just as important. Consider the content retention and effectiveness ratings of a course if there is a long, boring, stressful multiple-choice test at the end, especially if the learner knows that it is coming. The course can be as informative and engaging as possible, but if learners are dreading a two-hour test at the end, retention is not going to be where at the level you desire. Nor will be the satisfaction of your learners.

Two important assessment technologies are available that can be applied to this issue: adaptive testing and interactive testing. While not designed specifically with the intent of making tests more interesting or even (gasp!) fun, both technologies advance the development of tests with a scientific, empirical approach to making the tests better. This was an incredible read from The American Society of Training and Development. I discovered more in depth, the types of assessment technologies common to the profession. This is useful to all who would like to discover more effective ways of measuring assessment within the industry vs. the standard run of the mill multiple choice methods.

Submitted by mdavispeters 3/1/12

 Tucker, S. (2001).  Distance education: Better, worse, or as good as traditional education?

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume IV, Number IV. Retrieved

January 30, 2011 from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter44/tucker44.html

The article discusses how distance education has become vital in today’s learning and raises the question if it is better, worse, or as good as traditional education. Tucker (2001) states the dispute is not whether distance education is ideal, but whether it is good enough to merit a university degree, and whether it is better than receiving no education at all. The case study shows research to address the validity and reliability that determines if distance education is as effective as traditional education.  It also addresses the role of technology and its use in course development and problems with acceptance.

Tucker (2001) discusses that as distance education becomes more vital in higher education it reaches a broader student audience.  Tucker (2001) states advocates of distance learning view traditional classes as being unchangeable, inflexible, teacher-centered, and static and others state that many would not obtain a degree without distance education. Tucker (2001) also evaluates that the case study in the article concludes that while distance education may not be superior to or better than traditional face-to-face education, it is not worse than traditional education. It can be an acceptable alternative because it is just as good as traditional education (Tucker, 2001).

Submitted:  01/30/2011 jalston

Wang, T. H. (2007,). What strategies are effective for formative assessment in an e-learning environment?  Department of Education, National Hsinchu University of Education.(23), 171-186. Retrieved Mar 3, 2012, from Journal of Computer Assisted Learning . http://www.qou.edu/arabic/researchProgram/eLearningResearchs/whatStrategies.pdf

This article tackles the specific strategies used as assessment tools within E-Learning.  The author starts off by exploring the Web Based Assessment and Test Analysis (WATA), Formative Assessment Model (FAM) and cognitive styles in which are strategically used to measure and assess how the students are receiving the material as well as how productive the instructors are.  The articles stresses the importance of using feedback strategies as  tools to assist students weakness as well as a way in which to assist instructors in properly providing feedback to the large amount of students in which they are academically responsible. 

This article was both informative and a bit confusing.  I was overwhelmed at how much goes into configuring assessment tools and analyzing the data in which can both improve and promote an eLearning curriculum.  I never could imagine that all of these strategies were necessary and beneficial to both students and instructors in ensuring the students are getting as much as they are capable of from a course.  I also appreciate the articles compiling all of the web based e-learning sites that can assist an instructor in providing cognitive feedback based on the subject matter being administered.

Submitted: 3/4/2012 nbeck

Wang, T.H., (2010). Web-based dynamic assessment:  Taking assessment as teaching and learning strategy for improving students' e-Learning effectivness. Computers & Education. 54(4), 1157-1166. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2009.11.00. http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/science/article/pii/S0360131509003133 1

The author of this research seeks to answer two questions: 1) can GPAM-WATA promote a more effective e-learning experience, and 2) comparing two learning environments, N-WBT and GPAM-WATA, how do learner prior knowledge differences compare in effectiveness?  Dr. Wang concludes through this research that learners, who experienced the GPAM-WATA, witnessed a higher e-Learning effectiveness than those in other controlled groups.

Using a convenience sampling of elementary school teachers with 116 sixth grade student participants in Taiwan, the researcher randomly assigned students to two control groups: GPAM-WATA and N-WBT. Using a quasi-experimental design, Dr. Wang concludes GPAM-WATA promotes self-assessment and a more timely feedback for learners, in addition to providing a platform whereby learners have more opportunities to learn.  This study provides valuable information in that it aids the developer to infuse a more progressive feedback program for the "human-machine" interaction.  

http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com/science/article/pii/S0360131509003133 1

submitted:  10/02/2014  ssmart

Willis, G.B., Bailey, C.P., Davis, H.C., Gilbert, L., Howard, Y., Jeyes, S., & Young, R. (2009). An e-Learning framework for assessment (FREMA). Retrieved from Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 34(3), 273-292. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02602930802068839#.VC0vaGddWuI

This article specifically delineates the development of FREMA (e-Framework Reference Model for Assessment), a reference domain model.  This domain is explored to help strategists and developers better understand e-learning assessment such as resources which include:  standards, projects, people, organizations, software, service and cases that exist within the domain.  By providing this assessment rationale, the goal of the authors was to place an emphasis on building linkable community systems.

This article is useful as developers attempt to devise programs that focus on real problems that learners encounter in the real world.  The development of this framework can be useful to all service frameworks that similarly are characterized by consistent evolution, and independent developers and learners.


submitted: 10/02/2014 ssmart