As more and more districts move to use of Learning Management Systems and one-to-one programs, teachers have to adapt lessons and assessments to fit these new environments. Instead of trying to fit old methods into new structures, it's helpful to instead consider what new methods a new structure makes possible. This class is designed to help you think about new ways to assess student learning while making use of the tools available within an online system.

Class Objectives:

  • Discuss common types of online learning environments and what elements are included

  • Use of 21st Century Assessments (Authentic Assessments)
  • Discuss how a learning environment affects the types of assessments you use
  • Rubrics: What are they? What are they used for? How do you create one?
  • Online feedback methods and work flow for text-based assignments (reports and essays)

Image result for assessment
Image result for assessment

Things to think about when designing assessments:

  1. Consider course objectives or learning outcomes first.
  2. Understand the tools and functions of an online learning environment and make use of those that will be helpful--you don't have to use everything!
  3. If you don't have a district prescribed Learning Management System (LMS), consider using your own combination of tools (blogs, free LMS, wikis, web 2.0 tools, etc.)
  4. Design lessons that make the best use of available tools, while accomplishing the objectives you identify.
  5. Students respond readily to digital environments, but they still need instruction on the specifics of your system and your specific requirements.
  6. Develop assessments that accurately identify strengths and weaknesses in your students' understanding of concepts or
  7. Make assessment criteria available to students as they work on assignments to allow them to reflect on their own learning.
  8. Create clear rubrics that define different levels of performance (at least 3 or 4) for the criteria you've developed.
  9. Communicate clear and timely feedback to students. When possible, allow them to revise and resubmit assignments to demonstrate they understand your feedback.
  10. Understand the challenges of an online environment when it comes to plagiarism and copyright infringement. Don't assume students know how to avoid them; provide instruction and penalize violations, when appropriate.

Authentic Assessment Videos



Elements of Authentic Assessment:

  • Tasks or activities are relevant to real life
  • Tasks are engaging; capture students' interest
  • Requires synthesis or critical thinking skills
  • Determines whether students learned what you want them to know

21st Century Assessment Strategies

  1. Discussion Board Forums
  2. Blogs
  3. Individual and Group Projects
  4. Problem-Based Learning (PBL)creativity.jpg
  5. Role Play
  6. Invention or creation of products (artifacts, videos, games, podcasts, etc.)
  7. Presentations
  8. Lab Experiments
  9. Interviews with experts
  10. Quick Polls or quizzes (Kahoot, Socrative, Polleverywhere, etc.)
  11. Games
  12. Wikis
  13. What else does your LMS include?


Roundup Articles:
Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessments
26 Teacher Tools to Create Online Assessments
Take Three! 55 Digital Tools and Apps for Formative Assessment Success

Online Tools:
Plickers (Does not require devices)


First, what are they? For the answer, check out this article: Rubrics to the Rescue


  1. Forces the instructor to clarify assignment goals and define quality outcomes
  2. Gives students an advance understanding of what a good outcome is and motivates them toward higher achievement
  3. Rubrics are more useful for student learning than an overall letter grade or percentage
  4. Guides student learning by providing detailed feedback
  5. Provides an objective means for scoring assignments that may not be purely objective
  6. Helps the instructor focus on the key elements of an assignment
  7. Allow the instructor to describe various ability levels and score ranges for each graded element
  8. Research indicates that use of rubrics increase student learning, because they make clear what students must do
  9. Rubrics encourage students to think about their own learning (metacognition) by comparing their work to specific criteria
  10. Easy to use and interpret
  11. A rubric requires a time investment when creating, but saves considerable time when grading
  12. Rubrics make justifying scores to parents or students much less tedious.
  13. Rubrics allow teachers to assess skills that may fall outside the traditional testing data field.


Word Tables
Excel Spreadsheet
Google Forms
Annenberg Learner

Online Feedback for Text Submissions


Strategies to Consider

  • Do you provide feedback within the text, or only comments on overall quality? Or both?
  • Use the "Track Changes" feature in MS Word
  • Comment on shared Google docs
  • Annotate the text in Crocodoc (Blackboard LMS--ONLY WORKS WITH MOZILLA!!)
  • Paste a copy of your rubric into the text, or require students to include it in their document
  • Create a folder for each set of assignments and a system for saving students' work with and without comments (use standard file names)
  • Return document in a timely manner
  • Require students to respond to your feedback to let you know they understand comments
  • Create a process for students students to revise and resubmit where possible
  • Use a "Comments Bank" to make common comments available for pasting into student work
  • Assign codes to common comments and provide an explanation of the codes to students, then paste or type codes only on the document

Sample Comments Bank

Good way to engage readers.
Can you think of an engaging hook?
Introduction is engaging and clear in purpose.
Your essay purpose isn't yet clear.
Thesis statement answers the essay question.
Thesis statement does not answer the essay question.
Thesis statement is specific, significant, and debatable.
Thesis statement needs work.
Thesis statement is intriguing.

Evidence is clearly related to the thesis
Evidence supports the thesis
Information does not relate to thesis
This information is important and should be reflected in the thesis
Your point is unclear

Good summary of argument
Summarize the argument
Restate the thesis
Good way to keep your reader thinking
I'm not sure what you mean here

Comma splice
Sentence fragment
Fused sentence
Not parallel structure
Confusing wording
Awkward wording
Consider breaking this point into smaller pieces
Punctuation error
Subject - verb error
Syntax error

In-text citation is required following a quote
Provide in-text citation for summarized or paraphrased material
Citation format error
Begin Works Cited on new page
Header error
Works Cited should be alphabetized
Incorrect Works Cited format