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How to Facilitate Assessment in Your Online Course

We interviewed Bowling Green State Assistant Professor, Kyle Moninger, about bringing assessment into your online Applied Statistics course.

How would you recommend a new faculty member get started?

“Preparedness is key when developing assessment standards for an online course. I would recommend the faculty member spend sufficient time determining an appropriate grading scale and detailing grading policies in the syllabus. Having these put in place from the beginning of the semester will save a lot of time throughout the semester when situations arise.”

What are some of the standards you need to keep in mind?

“Build your assessment standards around the framework of formative and summative assignments.

Formative assignments should be low stakes, so consider making them worth few points, allow multiple attempts, and even consider late submissions. The main goal of a formative assignment is for the student to develop skills and practice the content in a low-stakes environment.

Summative assignments should be higher stakes, so consider higher point values and one attempt. Because summative assignments measure student's knowledge against a specific standard, timing is a key part of the assessment. Therefore, it's typical to have summative assignments timed and due at a specific time for standardization across the class.”

What specific Connect tools would you recommend using?

“McGraw Hill Connect® easily allows for different policy settings. Instructors can select the number of attempts per assignment, and even per question. If you are allowing late submissions, this can easily be added to the assignment policies with or without an attached penalty.

Question pooling is a great feature, especially with summative assignments. Pooling multiple questions tied to the same learning objective can ensure each student gets a slightly different version of the assignment but still be tested over the same learning objectives. Another benefit of question pooling is that it allows the instructor to reuse the same assignment in future semesters without fear of previous copies being available.

Most of the content in Connect is auto graded, which is a huge time saver for instructors! However, instructors always have the option of adjusting scores and grades per assignment, student, and even by question.”

How would you use McGraw Hill’s BStat Prep Videos as an assessment online?

“A critical component to student success is their level of preparation with the prerequisite knowledge and foundational skills needed for a statistics course.

BStat Prep Video assignments in Connect allow instructors to assess the level of preparedness for each student early on in the semester before going into more complex topics. These assignments are short videos covering basic prerequisite topics (basic statistics, foundational mathematical skills, and Excel usage). Students are then asked follow-up questions to test their knowledge. These assignments are designed to get every student up to the same standards and fill in any knowledge gaps.

I recommend instructors assign these video assignments to assess where their students are at with the foundational skills and help everyone start the course off on the same page.”

About the Author

Kyle B. Moninger instructs the Quantitative Business Curriculum at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He teaches and plans undergraduate courses in statistics and business calculus, serves on the Quantitative Business Curriculum committee, and supervises the college's math and stats tutoring center. Kyle has been a visiting instructor three times at Tianjin Polytechnic University in Tianjin, China, and was previously a data scientist at Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio, where he designed and implemented a corporate training program on business intelligence and analytics.

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