Maintaining an effective and positive environment during online classes is certainly not an easy task. However, evaluation is also an indispensable part of teaching that requires serious attention and planning. Educators should not completely reinvent traditional assessments, but adapt them to fit the virtual classroom.
No matter what type of assessment teachers choose, it must adhere to the following unwritten rules:
Always align the assessment strategy with the main goal or objective
Teachers can measure a student’s overall performance or just the completion of a specific task. Their focus should be on achieving the learning goal and motivating students to strive for progress. In the virtual classroom, teachers can extract:
- information about which skills students need to upgrade and gaps in existing knowledge
- valuable feedback on the teacher’s educational performance
- ideas for improving assessment strategies
Don’t underestimate the feedback
The overall performance of the students is a clear sign of the teacher’s efforts. In addition, it provides crucial data on which aspects of the learning process need improvement. Teachers should also listen to students’ opinions when determining a future grading strategy.
Try to adjust reviews as much as possible
Teachers may feel overwhelmed by creating a specific assessment strategy for each student. However, this does not apply to adaptive assessment. It offers students the freedom to:
- learn at their own pace
- plan what and when to learn
- gain more control over the entire process
For example, quiz questions can be delivered to the computer and edited as students create them. A series of correct answers will result in more complex questions. In addition, the teacher can play a video or display a text on the online whiteboard in the virtual classroom and then ask questions.
Determine the assessment frequency
Many teachers opt for the test strategy exam format. However, it is not the most accurate option for this generation of young people. Exams are stressful and stress is the main factor that causes even the best achievers to fail. In addition, the online environment is prone to cheating.
Therefore, teachers should focus on frequent and innovative assessments during the school year. They can come up with a task or question that triggers discussion and divide students into breakout rooms. This allows teachers to assess their performance, teamwork and way of thinking.
Educators can go one step further and implement case-based assessments. They consist of a real-life situation that teachers explain to students and then determine the problem. In this way young people learn how to present their arguments, supported by facts and in-depth research.
VEDAMO‘s virtual classroom provides all the features needed to implement effective assessment strategies and use technical tools. However, it is vital to note that educators should not overwhelm students with too many virtual assessments and tools. As a teacher, it is best to use 2-3 of them and define the purpose for using them.
There is an intriguing review strategy called a one-pager. Students are asked to write down key ideas and questions about the lesson on one page and upload them to the virtual classroom. They can also contain images. Canvas, Google Slides and Word Document are the perfect tools for such activities that require almost no technical knowledge.
It’s a creative idea to help students summarize the main points of a lesson by typing it into a Google Doc or a virtual bulletin board like Padlet. Teachers can also ask students for their verbal summary of the lesson, a so-called elevator pitch. Thus, they manage to focus on the essential facts and practice public speaking.
A virtual classroom allows teachers to conduct one-on-one assessments. In this way they get more information about the way of thinking of the students. After all, individual conversations are the perfect tool to bond with someone, be it the online or physical environment.
Tests may seem like an old-fashioned way of grading, but they’re still one of the most popular among educators. Software such as Poll Everywhere, Google Forms and Peardeck allow teachers to create tests for each lesson.
The best way to check comprehension and retention are the exit tickets. Using the “Post-It Parking Lot” strategy, students answer questions on sticky notes and leave them on a board. In the online environment, students can enter their answers via a Google Document group. This allows the tutor to measure his performance and knowledge and start an intriguing discussion.
Teachers should keep in mind that different subjects require different assessment strategies. Based on students’ past experiences and preferences, educators can find compelling ways to measure student performance in the virtual classroom. The following keys are suitable for history lessons.
Divide and debate
Students tend to remember more information when using it in conversation and support their statements with arguments. Such activities are possible in VEDAMO’s virtual classroom using the breakout rooms. The tutor can focus on the legacy of a historical figure or the effects of war and then divide the students into groups. After collecting facts, students can debate in support of their thesis.
Analyzing a historical document
The teacher can share a historical document on the online whiteboard and then ask questions about its content. For example, teachers assess students’ retention and analytical skills by combining them with knowledge of history.
Research, formulate and present
A great way to measure students’ overall performance in history class is to ask a topic about a historical event/figure that is directly related to the area they live in. Students can collect data, write an essay, make a video and present it to the front of the class. Such an assessment strategy requires cohesive criteria and commitment from the young person.
Online education requires a flexible methodology from teachers and an innovative approach to assessing student performance. It is a well-known fact that students generally perform better when they know they will be recognized for their hard work. Therefore, a tutor’s mission is to adapt their assessment strategy to motivate and inspire students to strive for more.