Episode 41

"An Honest Assessment"

Duration 00:17:05      Recorded on February 27, 2008

In this episode, Susan and Dan explore the topic of assessment. The show continues the dialogue that was kicked off by a recent episode on "learner feedback".

Show Notes:

To begin, Dan does not differentiate assessment from evaluation. The idea of assessment as formative and evaluation of summative doesn't work for him. Susan's definition of assessment is the process of measuring and documenting what the student learned. And Dan adds to that in a way that is understandable to the learner. Students should learn something from a process of assessment.

Both agree that assessment should start with the instructional objectives.

In the online classroom, teachers often assess learning through self expression by way of contributions in discussion forums, journaling, and reflections. Projects, papers and portfolios are also pieces of assessment. CATs have been modified for the online environment as feedback for teachers. Susan points out that teachers get feedback through student work all the time! For example, read this. The biggest concern in online learning is security; how do you know that the student is really who they say they are? Papers can be plagiarized, and someone else can take the test. Susan and Dan discuss methods teachers can use it to personalize work and possibly prevent some cheating. They also discussed the use of proctored sites for testing.

And what should we assess? Susan says we should assess what we said we were going to in the instructional objectives! Dan has a neat website to share to help instructors align assessment with the domains that they want to measure.

The assessment tool should match what you're trying to achieve in terms of the outcome, the domain, or the kind of learning that you're trying to see evidence of.

Susan and Dan then switch to a conversation with Les Lewchuk, co-author with Ruth Stiehl of The Assessment Primer. The target audience is generally college faculty and uses the metaphor of a river and documenting the flow of evidence. Learn more about the book.

Susan's overview article that she refers to often: Assessing Learners Online Dan invites the audience to contribute their ideas as well.

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
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