Assess student learning
It is fairly easy to give small quizzes to hold students accountable or do spot-checks on their learning, and this might be ideal to keep students on track.
General tips for assessing student learning:
- Embrace short quizzes: Short quizzes can be a great way to keep students engaged with course concepts, particularly if they are interspersed with small chunks of video lecture. Consider using very-low-stakes quizzes to give students practice at applying concepts, with just enough points to hold them accountable, but not so many that the activity becomes all about points.
- Move beyond simple facts: It is good to reinforce concepts through practice on a quiz, but generally it is best to move beyond factual answers that students can quickly look up. Instead, write questions that prompt students to apply concepts to new scenarios, or ask them to identify the best of multiple correct answers.
- Check for publishers' test banks: If you are already using a publisher's textbook in your course, check to see whether the publisher has question banks that can be loaded into Canvas; see How to Connect Your Canvas Course with Various Publisher Tools. Even if you don't use these questions for your exams, they can be useful for simple quizzes. Some textbooks also have their own online quizzing tools that can help keep students engaged with the material.
Some publishers and educational technology vendors may offer last-minute deals on technologies and homework platforms due to the current COVID-19 situation. However, most often these platforms are not appropriate for use with IU student data. To ensure the security and privacy of student data, and to ensure that you and your students receive the technical support you need, only use tools that have been approved for use at IU (for example, those listed in External tools available in Canvas). If you're unsure whether a publisher's content or tool is approved for use at IU, contact your campus teaching and learning center.
- Update expectations for projects: Be ready to change assignment expectations based on the limitations imposed by the current situation. Possible options include allowing individual rather than group projects or adjusting the types of resources needed for research papers.
- Consider alternate exams: Delivering a secure exam online can be difficult without a good deal of preparation and support, so consider giving open-book exams or other types of exams. They can be harder to grade, but you have fewer worries about test security. For more about alternate exams, including tips for moving exams online, see Assess student learning during COVID-19: Alternate assessment, Respondus Monitor, and Examity.