Sunday, July 21, 2013

LEC 6.3 Reflection: Technology & Assessment

This module has explored the use of technology tools for both formative and summative assessment. As you think about how you will implement formative and summative assessments in the online and blended environments, what are some of the factors you need to consider?

As in the traditional classroom, I think it is important to use a variety of formats for both formative and summative assessments, in order to best reach student needs. In the online and blended learning environments, there are many additional considerations that are not concerns for paper and pencil classrooms. One of the first concerns that comes to mind is that ideally, these assessments, formative and summative, should be device agnostic. Even if the school has a specific program that provides students with devices, if they are working at home it is very possible that they will be using a different OS than that of the school. I myself have been frustrated with e-learning courses when I was not able to use my tablet for the assignments, and had to switch back to my PC. 

Feedback is another major concern. Ideally, the tool used for assessment should have feedback either built in natively, or the instructor should be able to give feedback easily via his/her chosen LMS. For example, Socrative, Google Forms(with Flubaroo), Edmodo Quiz, Infuse Learning, etcetera all have methods of feedback that are quick and easy for both the teacher and the student. The timeliness of feedback is vital to the success of the student in any classroom, but moreso in the online environment, when the student is not getting daily feedback in a traditional classroom setting. 

Technical support and back up are also both important items to consider. Without proper technical support, either from the LMS or within the school, it can be extremely frustrating for teachers attempting to implement the online or blended learning scenario. It is important in the blended learning scenario to have a back up plan in case something goes wrong when attempting the online assessments. (The website is suddenly blocked, the wi-fi goes down, students do not have their device in class, etcetera.) Flexibility is key in the classroom, whether the classroom is virtual, blended or traditional. 

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