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How to Facilitate Assessment in Your Online Course


We interviewed George Mason University Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Management Professor, Patrick Soleymani about bringing assessment into your online management course.

How would you recommend a new faculty member get started?

“For assessment purposes, I recommend a new faculty member start with low-stakes assessments, such as click and drags and case analyses. Later, the faculty member can use the quiz (if available) and test banks in McGraw Hill Connect® to do a final assessment of students' comprehension of course material. Often times, we only focus on quizzes and tests instead of using other means of assessment earlier, providing remediation, and then assessing.”

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

“It's important to provide ample time for students to complete their examinations, ensure standards are in place for academic integrity and provide feedback. I provide scores immediately but hold my detailed feedback until after the due date to ensure that students do not share their responses. McGraw Hill has rolled out a new partnership with Proctorio to offer remote proctoring and browser-locking capabilities that are seamlessly integrated within Connect to offer more control over the integrity of online assessments.”

What specific Connect tools would you recommend using?

“I recommend using click and drags and case analyses to see if students are able to remember, understand, and apply the material they have learned after using SmartBook®. I look at the SmartBook reporting dashboard to see how my students are doing – particularly the “How many concepts were challenging” and metacognition reports. If I see specific topics that are problematic for the class, I focus on those by releasing additional online sources, videos, or small lectures. Then, I provide a quiz or test to make sure the remediation worked. Often there are separate quiz and test banks, which are helpful since I am a big fan of repetitive quizzing with low point values. I give a quiz every week and a test every couple of weeks. This way, I have a better handle on how my students are doing.”

In what ways do you address academic dishonesty?

I plan on using Proctorio in the future in order to safeguard against academic integrity issues. Its integration allows for a whole host of ways in which professors can monitor students as they take their tests online, including browser-locking capabilities and remote proctoring. I plan on using the free offerings in the fall and then decide if I want to select more premium offerings, for a nominal cost to students in the spring. Connect also safeguards against cheating by pooling questions and randomizing so students can’t easily share answers.

About the Author

Patrick Soleymani is Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Assistant Professor of Management at Mason’s School of Business. He teaches Organizational Behavior, Principles of Management and Entrepreneurship courses.

Profile Photo of Patrick Soleymani