The Challengers


“The main purposes of assessment are to monitor student learning, improve academic programs, and enhance teaching and learning” (Gayton & McEwen, 2007).   For each module the students will be provided a rubric regarding how they will be graded for assignments and work submitted.  One of the benefits of online courses is that grades can be submitted electronically almost immediately; therefore, the student received instant feedback that can cultivate a student centered learning environment.  In addition, Gayton & McEwen (2007) found that online quizzes provide immediate feedback, and quickly graded weekly assignments, self-assessments, and peer evaluations should be utilized when developing online courses as they assist in the educator knowing what the students understand throughout the module. 
Some of the modules in the Introduction to Technology will benefit from instructor feedback, while other modules will utilize peer-assessment.  In the last module of the fourth quarter, students can view their peers’ websites and critique them based off a criteria that will be provided to them by the instructor.  This critique incorporates collaborative learning that is considered a critical element in constructionist theory of learning and allows for students to apply their newly acquired knowledge in a practical way. 

One way to evaluate the course in its entirety is to have students complete a questionnaire before and after the course. Students will be given a questionnaire pertaining to their expectations of the course and professor, familiarity with technology, and what they hope to get out of the course.  Using a questionnaire, the professor could identify students who may be at risk of failure and provide support to these particular students (Roblyer et al., 2008).   Once the course is completed, another questionnaire will be distributed which will pertain to whether the students felt the course met their expectation, if the professor provided quick and responsive feedback, and the level of which they felt connected to the instructor and/or other students.  
Research indicates that there currently is no sound assessment tools developed for online courses (Black, Ferdig, & DePeitro, 2008).  It would be a good idea to form a committee of instructors whose goal would be to convene on such topics as efficient online assessment, ways to improve the online course, and research to find effective assessment tools.

Black, E., Ferdig, R., and DiPietro, M.  (2008). An overview of evaluative instrumentation for     virtual high schools.  American Journal of Distance Education, (22) 1, 24 – 45

Gaytan, J., and McEwen, B. (2007) Effective online instructional and assessment strategies. American Journal of Distance Education, (21)3, 117-132. 

Roblyer, M., Davis, L., Mills, S., Marshall, J. & Pape, J. (2008).  Toward practical procedures for predicting and promoting success in virtual school students.  American Journal of Distance Education, (22)2, 90-109. 

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional