‘Utilizing LMS tools to help with student assessment in an online course’ is the title of the Best Paper awarded at ELEOT 2015, the Second EAI International Conference on e-Learning e-Education and Online Training, held last September at the Università degli Studi eCampus in Novedrate, Italy.
An overview The paper, presented by Dudley B. Turner from the University of Akron, focuses on assessments in education. Generally, the assessment can be formative or summative according to its scope as a progress indicator during the study or at the end of it. Many times the assessment is an examination or a written paper and students have only one attempt to do it. Unfortunately, this method does not allow students to make adjustments or improve their learning progress. The same issue occurs in distance and online learning, where assessments are conducted electronically, typically utilizing a Learning Management System (LMS). Furthermore, a relevant problem concerns the valuable time of assessments, especially when an instructor has a large class or teaches multiple classes.
A new approach The research presented at ELEOT illustrates a different approach than “one-shot” assessments to incorporate additional chances. This involves the use of an LMS and includes rubrics for assessing writing assignments to give students appropriate feedback for later use and improvement. In this case, the LMS is Desire2Learn, but nearly all LMS platforms have similar capabilities. At the basis of the proposal is the same use of motivation as in the games approaches, which encourages students to persist until the success.
Results The study assumes the assessments were good indicators of student learning. In addition, it provides ways that do not increase instructor workload. These results should help other online educators, as they consider possible assessment approaches that are not final but formative or developmental assessments.
Are you interested in reading the full paper? It is available on EUDL.