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Laulima Faculty Tutorials

Assessment Strategies

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Assessment Strategies :
The following strategies are presented as suggestions only. They are not set standards or practices dictated by this University, but preventive strategies that can be used by faculty for testing online.

Keep in mind that the issue of cheating is a timeless and an ongoing discussion. If there is a will, there is a way, this stands for face to face testing as well as online assessment...the idea is to employ suggestions that deter the need or desire for cheating while at the same time accurately assess student performance.

The following strategies are not in any order of preference.

Use alternative methods of assessment, such as project based evaluation:
Rethink the assessment strategy, making the bulk of course assessment based on assignments, labs and participation in Discussions and other group work, etc. For example one could use the "Wiki" Tool to develop an online course newspaper, use either Discussions & Private Messages or Forum tools for accessing higher order thinking skills such as evaluation and synthesis on the bases of pre-defined rubric or some combination of individual and collaborative projects where the concepts of your course need to be applied, or give students problems to solve, have them write journals, create games in which they teach other students concepts learned.

Using this form of assessment would allow students to work collaboratively on several projects throughout the semester as opposed to taking a couple heavily weighted objective exams.

Proctor Exams:
If a test must be given and there is a strong concern about cheating, proctor the exam. If students are on remote locations reserve rooms in their areas. For additional information on proctoring view the information presented here: University of Hawaii Proctoring Services

Set specific release criteria on the Quiz:
*Time the quiz - Laulima has the ability to limit how long students have to take an exam. One could calculate how long it takes to save each question and base that on how long the quiz is available. For example: 1 minute per multiple choice, multiple minutes for matching (4 options = 4 minutes) and perhaps 10 minutes for short answer and essay questions. Laulima also has several selections on how questions are presented, one of which is to show questions one at a time where they are unable to return to alter the answer.

*Employ larger question pools - if using a large question pool one can set up their quizzes using "Question Sets" which allows multiple sets of questions to be presented to each student, decreasing the chances of any two students receiving the same set of questions for any one exam.

*Repeated quizzing with highest score kept - Set the quiz to be taken multiple times, keeping the highest submission score. This process can make testing more of a learning tool and allows for mastery of content which could ultimately increase learning and test performance. How many times you allow a student to take a test depends on quiz objective(s), 3 - 5 times is the most common, but it can be set to unlimited amounts of submissions.

Assign Multiple Versions of a Quiz:
Depending on availability of resources one could employ entirely different versions of the same test (requires a large test bank of identical/similar based questions). Students could be assigned a test version via email shortly before quiz time.

Use Higher Level Test Questions:
Multiple choice, text based questions are notoriously easy to look up answers for, why not test for higher level cognitive skills by employing essay formatted questions that require students to think for themselves. Questions can be gathered from in class lectures as well as book discussions. Use this strategy in combination with setting a time limit for the quiz.

Use Password or Security Settings:
Laulima allows for submission of a username and password prior to being allowed access to a quiz. The username/password is delivered to the student or group of students. This username/password option works very well in a proctored situation, where not only do students need to show an ID in the proctored lab but also must use an issued password (given at the proctor lab) to access the quiz.

Provide Multiple "mini" Exams:
Set up multiple, lower weighted exams (perhaps 10% of total grade) to use throughout the semester. This will make it more difficult to have someone "assist" all the time. If need be, proctor the midterm and final.

Have Students Submit an "Honor Agreement":
Write up an Honor Agreement which states explicitly what actions constitute cheating and that they could be penalized under the provisions of the departments/schools professional honor code if they engage in any of the listed actions (you list what is considered cheating), present in a survey and have each student agree to prior to any testing. This honor agreement could be set in such a way that its submission triggers an exam.

Check Quiz Score Information:
If a student has taken some practice quizzes and has not done well and all of a sudden does exceptionally well on a major quiz check previous quiz scores and make the decision to bring that student in for proctoring of an exam.

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