Tools and Tips on How to Assess Online Learning

Lessons Learned


The growth in virtual learning and adapting new technologies in the classroom has evolved immensely in the last couple of years. The use of new technologies in the classroom brings with it new ways of learning for everyone. Not only do educators have to learn how to adapt their teaching methods to check for student understanding, but parents and students need to know how students are doing in order to help them course-correct and keep them on track. This means educators must find new ways of assessing online learning in the classroom.

There are different ways of evaluating students’ online learning using a formative assessment approach – what the Office of Educational Technology describes as “frequent, instructionally embedded checks for understanding that provide quick, continual snapshots of student progress across time.”

Online Quizzes

Quizzes have been around for ages, but when they’re pair

ed with technology, they are a great way to engage student learning. A main benefit of online quizzes is the ability to measure learning results across a wide audience. Quizzes provide the opportunity to get a baseline measurement of students’ knowledge by giving a non-graded online quiz at the start of a lesson and a final graded quiz at the end of the course. Using multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blanks makes quizzes short and easy to assess online.

Online Polls

Another quick way to assess students is through poll questions. Polls allow you to capture feedback directly and quickly about a student’s learning experience. They allow students to share their opinions, make themselves heard, and are quick to complete – ideally right after a lesson while the information and experience are still fresh in their minds.

Digital Journals

Classrooms are comprised of an array of different personalities, which means students learn in different ways. Teachers can create an online journal using Google Docs or your school’s learning management system for after-class reflection exercises that give students a private space to reflect. This is a great tool for students who process information at different speeds, those who don’t feel comfortable raising their hand in class, or just don’t like to be acknowledged publicly during class. Using different one-pager activities or prompts can assess what students know, what they want to know, what they found interesting, what they’re having trouble understanding, and what they learned.

In-the-Moment Checks

Checking in with students while they’re engaging in virtual learning is important because it allows teachers to adjust instruction and meet students where they are. This can be done virtually and in the classroom using synchronous tools that have built-in assessment capabilities. For example, yes and no buttons or a private chat feature allows teachers to know in real-time what students are struggling with. This helps provide timely feedback about which students might need further support or who may benefit by working in small breakout groups.

Virtual Exit Tickets

Whether utilizing digital learning virtually or physically in the classroom, teachers can use virtual exit tickets after a lesson to get a sense of what students are thinking and if the information is making sense to them. Edutopia offers these open-ended prompt examples:

  • What I found most interesting today was…
  • Today was hard because…
  • What do you understand well?
  • What’s something that’s still shaky?
  • What’s something I [teacher] don’t realize?
  • What takeaways will be important three years from now?
  • How does this relate to [something learned before]?
  • How would you have done things differently today?
  • Today was hard because…

Teachers can keep the answers private in a Google Doc for each student or post the questions on a platform like Flipgrid so students can see and comment on each other’s responses.

While there are many tools available to assess online learning, one of the most meaningful and powerful ways to assess students is through personal conversations. Scheduling one-on-one conversations with students and parents, either in-person or online, brings in more of a human element to the online assessment process because real human connection is something that technology can never replace.

 

EdTech Solutions leverages education technology to improve learning by making it easy and simple for schools and students to manage and access individualized digital content on any device.  EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to schoolwide ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need while providing students and parents with access to all their content on one easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases.

When you work with us, we create a personalized bookstore for your school where students can access and purchase their ebooks and textbooks on Shelfit.com. We also help publishers make their content available digitally to students on our robust multi-publisher ebook reader platform. We strongly believe that knowledge and good education should be available to all, and we are committed to developing and providing the online learning tools and modern services that make it possible.

 

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