Guidance on adapting your assessments for an online setting

How can I assess my students online?
If you need to rethink your assessments for online learning, we have prepared some guidance to support you in this work.

Solutions to teaching online
altLAB has collated some solutions to help meet the challenges of teaching online. These are drawn from teaching experience and examples of good practice. Here is a small selection:

Changing student presentation assessments to online – live ore pre-recorded

Supporting assessed role play in online spaces 

Assessing three dimensional artefacts in a two-dimensional space 

Using formative online quizzes 

Other guidance if you are tweaking assessments:

Creating good quality rubrics 

Online alternative assessment ideas from the Taylor Institute in Canada

Designing alternative online assessment

Your assessment task will most likely fall in one of the following categories:

Your assessment task is already online

Overall, what you are doing is fine, carry on with that. Your students have been introduced to the task and submission process – but they will be doing this in a different context, i.e. at a distance from you and less able to use previously adopted support strategies.

In light of this:

Read through the assessment brief and/or have a peer review this with you, to ensure that it clearly describes what the students are required to do. In terms of usability, you may want to consider asking more experienced students to review your assessment briefs to make sure they will make sense to students.

Check that you are comfortable and familiar with any technology that is being used as part of the assessment task. Ensure that students have access to guidance for critical technologies used as part of the assessment.

Review any feedback you have received previously when running a similar assessment to see if you can make the experience even more usable. It is absolutely critical that everyone is clear about what they need to do. If you are experienced in using online assessment, consider how you can help your colleagues who are less experienced.

Your assessment task is face-to-face – you already have a viable alternative tasks for resits

You may have an existing alternative assessment task which can be undertaken / submitted online and agreed for use at reassessment. This could be a useful strategy to employ now, as you will be confident that it will robustly assess the paper learning outcomes.

Tasks such as these are often used where the resitting students cannot undertake the original task (e.g. a presentation), and therefore the numbers might have been low. Consider whether using the existing alternative task would work for a full cohort.

You will need to arrange for the creation of the submission point within Canvas.

Your assessment task is face-to-face – what you are doing needs some revision

Perhaps your current face to face assessment task does not have an existing viable alternative. An example of this is perhaps a time limited, invigilated exam. Opportunities exist to revise these to be undertaken as a Take Home Assessment or an alternative assessment to the exam – For more information, please read Adapting Assessments for Online Delivery.

Is your existing assessment a Group work task? Review the learning outcomes to clarify whether this is absolutely required in an alternative format. It might be more practical to prepare an individual task for students to undertake and submit online instead.

Your assessment task is face-to-face – you need to rethink your assessment task or its timing

Some assessment tasks may be less viable to transfer to an online medium, e.g. a performance, or other time, space or person-specific task. In these instances, please connect with altLAB for tailored support. 

Our Assessment Task Checklist can help you review your assessment task designs.

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