Monday, August 15, 2011
Assessment: How Do You Know What They Know?
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Assessing Critical Thinking
What does it mean to say that thinking is critical? How do we know when, or that, our students' thinking performances are higher level performances? What various learning tools better motivate students to practice critical thinking? The workshop exercises are aimed at clarifying core critical thinking skills, and to show how both group and individual student participation in developing critical thinking exercises helps students better learn critical thinking skills. We will discuss the nature of active/open learning in relation to the promotion of higher level thinking skills in different learning environments.
eAssessment: A Practical Introduction to Designing Technology-Supported Assessment
The explosion of digital technologies and their potential use in improving student learning may leave many educators in universities with their heads spinning. As technology is used more and more in education, assessing student learning utilising some of these tools is becoming an increasing area of interest for educators around the world. But with so many options available, from online quizzes and exams, to online facilitation of peer evaluation, discussions, online debates and conferences, virtual worlds (such as SecondLife), adaptive assessment tasks, ePortfolios, digital stories, simulations, scenario-based learning and the world of mobile learning options (netbooks, iPads, iPods, smartphones, digital cameras, Flip-cameras etc), how do we choose assessment options that will be right for our own teaching context? How do we deal with the issues of what is reliable, valid and authentic assessment using these tools and what does the emerging literature in this field tell us about the impact on student learning of such approaches?
This workshop will help explore the larger issues by discussing an introduction to the theory, research and possible options in eAssessment within the general context of higher education, followed by a demonstration of some current tools available locally. You will then combine these concepts by participating in some exercises designed to help you plan an assessment task that you can implement in your own teaching.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
How to Assess Writing Skills: When Writing Isn't the Point
Is it part of your job to correct your students' grammar and refine the rhetoric in their assignments? If so, where do you draw the line? When the course content has little or nothing to do with writing, how do you determine the weight of your students' writing skills when you assess their assignments?
An instructor's skill at making formative comments on student writing will affect outcomes, even when the comments are few rather than extensive and regardless of the relative weight assigned to writing in any course. This workshop will have two parts: first, participants will be guided through processes for making decisions about the relative value of student writing in their own courses, their departments, and, where applicable, the professions to which their students are headed. Next, the presenter will offer a variety of models and examples for assessing student writing. Participants will have the opportunity to practice assessing writing samples, commenting sparingly or extensively, according to their own decisions about the relative importance of student writing skills in their courses.
Free and Fair: Creating Accessible Online Assessment
Assessing students online is steadily increasing, and as a result it is essential to ensure all assessments are effective and follow accessibility guidelines. A new open source software, Xerte Online Toolkits, is a suite of free prize-winning software which has been developed by Nottingham University and which is endorsed by the educational accessibility advisory service based in the UK. Xerte Online Toolkits can be used to show content and assessments in a variety of formats.By using this free software, participants and learning designers are encouraged to create accessible content online that can be downloaded and embedded into learning programmes. Students can view the content in different ways, according to their personal preferences.
This workshop will introduce Xerte Online Toolkits, including examples from an international project where it is being used. Workshop members will be given the opportunity to create learning objects that include formative assessments from their own learning materials. Workshop members will be using computers (participants can bring their own laptops). Although materials and examples will be available, people attending this workshop will benefit more by bringing their material, including questions and answers, so that they can produce their own learning objects.