Monthly Archives: April, 2020

Education Faculty: Making use of different assessment types for formative & summative assessment

Education lecturers have made effective use of different assessment types over a period of time. This blog is a reflection of the implementation of assessment methods in different disciplines. Assessment types used by lecturers include the use of the Assignments, Tests and Quizzes, ePortfolios and Digital Stories to assess students. 

Assignment eTool

The iKamva platform can be used to set up summative assessment activities via the Assignments eTool, which allows students to upload and submit their work accordingly.

Application: ‘Take-home’ research proposal aligned to rubric

Lecturers, Khayelethu Hamana (EDC 413) and Xolani Mbelani (TMM 301) – have set up an online ‘Take-home’ assessment for their 2019 mid-year examination, whereby students needed to submit a research proposal. Both lecturers shared a rubric with their students which entailed the assessment criteria. The assessments were set-up using the ‘iKamva-Turnitin integration’, and students were given sufficient time in order to submit and edit accordingly for re-submission purposes.

Test & Quizzes eTool [MCQs, True-and-False, Short Answer]

The Tests & Quizzes tool allows instructors to create online assessments (i.e., tests, exams, quizzes, and surveys) for students or particular groups. Online assessments can be marked automatically when certain question types are selected; and questions can be randomised per student.

Application: Weekly formative assessment tasks (reflection, reinforcement and preparation) & Evaluation

Lecturers Ronel Koch and Zainoenisa Allie have made use of specific eTools within the iKamva platform to supplement their teaching practice for 3rd year students. Their respective modules aimed to prepare prospective educators with the skills and knowledge to become a Senior Phase Educator (Grades 7-9). Resources were distributed to students which included Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) documents, weekly lecture slides, articles, referencing guides for assignments and an exam scope.

Students were expected to engage in 5 weekly tasks which were designed within the Tests & Quizzes eTool. These tasks included the use of various question types such as True-and-False, Short Answer and Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). These formative tasks were used as a form of consolidation of course content; and also a space for reflection and goal setting. In addition, these tasks assisted with reinforcement, revision and preparation for examinations as well as their future careers as educators. Students were also required to complete an evaluation which provided feedback to the lecturers around their teaching and student learning aspects.

Add the Statistics eTool to your online modules: Tracking user activity & generating reports

All lecturers have been advised to add the ‘Statistics eTool’ to their online modules. The statistics tool will enable them to track user activity within each module. Hence, they will be able to identify active and inactive students.

The Statistics eTool within iKamva records user activities. It allows authorised users (typically instructors, lecturers or site owners) to view site usage statistics and user/student activity events. These summary reports present a quick overview of site usage. The Statistics eTool initial overview page allows the lecturer to view a summary of user/tool activity information (e.g. Visits; Activity; Resources; and Lesson Page).

You will be able to create customised detailed reports to retrieve data for a specific day in relation to eTool/s; course resources; lessons; discussion topics; and user-role. Hence lecturers are able to monitor activity in a specific module.  A lecturer will have access to a student list (active students) – aligned to the type of report that you intended to generate. The report results can be exported as a PDF or Excel file.

How do I add the ‘Statistics eTool’ to my module?

  • Click on ‘site info’ within your module,
  • Click on ‘manage tools’,
  • Select/tick the ‘statistics eTool’, and
  • Click on continue to confirm your selection.

 

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EMS Faculty: Online Sharing Meeting (Webinar)

The Deputy-Dean, Prof Gregory Ruiters organised and hosted an online sharing meeting, 23 April 2020. The session was well attended, hosting approximately 100 lecturers. The 4 presenters, namely: Prof Michelle Esau (Dean); Fiona Anciano; Juliet Stoltenkamp; and Karen Dos Reis. The speakers focused on various topics that will be shared on the EMS website.

CIECT’s presentation focused on the design and development of a basic well-structured interactive environment, in relation to:

  • Selection of eTools according to the discipline (topic);
  • Pedagogical value of the eTool; and
  • Authentic examples of the application by EMS lecturers [how the lecturers are making use of the eTools for content creation, communication and assessment].

The Director of CIECT thanked the lecturers across the EMS Faculty – who have engaged in online teaching and learning practices, for a long period of time (pre-#feesmustfall; and pre-covid-19). Hence EMS Faculty lecturers are continuing to build on their courses during this time. They contact the CIECT team for individual advisory and training sessions.

NB: View CIECT’s presentation highlighting how EMS lecturers are effectively making use of various eTools for learning, teaching and assessment practices. https://youtu.be/Ktnmqgour0g

EMS Faculty: Use of different assessment types for both Formative and Summative assessments

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of various eTools. This communication is a reflection of the effective use of eTools by lecturers in the EMS Faculty across different year levels over a period of time.

Tests & Quizzes eTool: Multiple Choice Questions [MCQs]

This assessment eTool allows for a variety of question types, including Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). The MCQ type can be used to assess students’ knowledge, understanding, skills and abilities by incorporating lower, middle and higher order thinking questions, as set out in Bloom’s Taxonomy. MCQs designed in this manner, should allow for effective evaluation of students’ assimilation and comprehension of course content. A lecturer is able to set-up a randomised question bank/pool.

 Application of weekly tests and quizzes

Lecturers Frikkie Herbst, Philip Hirschsohn and Jeremiah Machingambi, amongst others, have created weekly tests and quiz assessment activities within their respective modules for their students (part-time blended approach and fully online students). The specific tests were aligned to the learning content that they engaged in for the specific week. Students were graded and the marks count towards their CAM.

Assignment eTool

 

The Assignment eTool within iKamva can be used for posting, submitting and grading assignment(s) online. The Assignment eTool has also been integrated with Turnitin (Tii) automatically.

Application of weekly assignments and constructive feedback by lecturer

Lecturer Kaashiefa Mobarak, created weekly Assignments (linked to Turnitin) via iKamva. It should be noted that the lecturer developed five (5) short-essay type questions, which required the students to reflect on tasks, based on their own working experiences. The lecturer spent a considerable amount of time reading the essays and providing constructive feedback. In addition, the lecturer developed a rubric for each essay type question.

 

Question Pools/Banks

Question pools can be set up to differentiate between concepts, themes and sections; and a set number of questions can be randomly drawn from the pool. This will ensure that each student’s assessment varies from one to the other. This form of assessment has been used by lecturers at UWC across disciplines as both formative and summative assessment. It is advisable to set up all question pools in advance, allowing you to easily create the assessment when necessary and draw a set number of questions from the pool. Question pools are saved to your iKamva profile, meaning you will be able to use it in any module, and you will be able to re-use your question pools each year.

Application of pools in alignment with content

Lecturers Sanet van der Westhuizen and Thembinkosi Maphosa created question pools and subpools, which were set up in advance and imported into the relevant assessment. Students were allowed to view the memo only after the tests were completed, in order to identify gaps in knowledge.

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Google Hangouts: Live chat, sharing learning material [Data costs for staff and students]

Google Hangouts is an online communication tool that enables video and audio calls with the option of recording online sessions. Hangouts can be accessed via your Gmail profile, thus logging in to Gmail will grant you access to Hangouts. Group sessions are set up within the user’s calendar events. It is advised to add between 30 to 50 participants per session even though Google Hangouts allow up to 250 attendees per session. Please see the attached link which shows how to use, record and share.

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/nJA3wzEk7VQ

Following is a list of frequently asked questions related to Google Hangout sessions:

  1. Can Google Hangout Sessions be recorded?

Yes, Hangouts allows the presenters/event creator to record their online sessions. Please note, the presenter needs to inform participants to not end the recording from within the participant’s profile. Doing so will stop the recording session completely.

** Recordings are saved to the presenters/event creator’s Google Drive (My Drive – Meet Recordings) folder. Please also be advised, the recording link is sent to the original presenters/event creator’s email inbox which can then be shared with the rest of the Hangouts attendees.

 

  1. Can a participant record the session? 

Yes, participants are able to record sessions. We strongly advised against this option, the recording should be captured by the presenters/event creator (lecturer, meeting host etc).

 

  1. Will I be able to upload the recording to iKamva?

Yes, videos with less than a 100mb size allocation can be uploaded to iKamva. Lecturers will also be able to share their Google Drive video link with students should videos exceed the 100mb size allocation.

The following table outlines the estimated data usage:

5 minutes 

Audio and Video call

 

40 – 50MB

 

10 minutes 

Audio and Video call

 

80 – 100MB

 

20 minutes 

Audio and Video call

 

160 – 200MB

 

50 minutes 

Audio and Video call

 

400 – 500MB

 

Understanding Digital Media Content

Understanding Digital Media Content infographic

Teaching Tip 5: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Interaction [Discussion Forums, Chat Room, Meetings/BigBlueButton]

As we are moving into an era where online teaching will take centre-stage, it is important to understand how online teaching methodologies (eLearning) differs from the traditional, face-to-face teaching methodologies. Trying to replicate the traditional mode will not always be the most effective for the online learner. Students will be required to be self-directed learners and your online teaching methodology should reflect this. As online learning can be data intensive, it is also important that digital media components are kept simple and easily accessible to all.

Hence, there are important points to consider when taking your course online, listed alongside iKamva eTools which can be used for these purposes:

  1. Sequencing & scaffolding of learning content (Lessons eTool)
  2. Regular contact with students (Announcements)
  3. Student interaction & knowledge building (Discussion Forums & Meetings)
  4. Formative & Summative Assessments linked to each learning unit (Test Quizzes,  Assignments eTools)
  5. Synchronous vs Asynchronous Interaction (Discussion Forums, Chat Room, Meetings [BigBlueButton])

There are two kinds of online interaction that can take place, both with their own benefits and limitations. Try to include both types of interaction in your online environment in order to accommodate a wider range of students.

Synchronous interaction & learning takes place in real-time, meaning that students are able to receive immediate responses and/or feedback. Examples of synchronous learning include the use of video conferencing tools such as BigBlueButton or Google Hangouts/Meetings. This is essentially a virtual classroom environment, but it can incur high data costs; and not always the most viable option for students.

Asynchronous interaction does not have to take place in real time. This has benefits for the student such as giving them time to formulate their responses without interruption. It is generally less data-intensive; and the student can interact at their own pace or when they have the means to do so. Discussion Forums are an example of asynchronous interaction, and can be utilised on the iKamva platform.

Contact the CIECT Team to assist you with your online environment.

Minimise the size of your digital content: Guidelines

It is important that we try to keep lecture material which includes digital content (images, audio, video), as small as possible. Here are some guidelines you can consider when developing your learning material.

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How to verify the file size of your document, presentation, images and videos:

  • Right-click on your file
  • Click properties
  • View the size
  • PowerPoint Lecture Materials

Teaching Tip 4: Formative & Summative Assessments linked to each learning unit (Test Quizzes, Assignments eTools)

As we are moving into an era where online teaching will take centre-stage, it is important to understand how online teaching methodologies (e-Learning) differs from the traditional, face-to-face teaching methodologies. Trying to replicate the traditional mode will not always be the most effective for the online learner. Students will be required to be self-directed learners and your online teaching methodology should reflect this. As online learning can be data intensive, it is also important that digital media components are kept simple and easily accessible to all.

Hence, there are important points to consider when taking your course online, listed alongside iKamva eTools which can be used for these purposes:

  1. Sequencing & scaffolding of learning content (Lessons eTool)
  2. Regular contact with students (Announcements)
  3. Student interaction & knowledge building (Discussion Forums & Meetings)
  4. Formative & Summative Assessments linked to each learning unit (Test Quizzes,  Assignments eTools)
  5. Synchronous vs Asynchronous Interaction (Discussion Forums, Chat Room, Meetings [BigBlueButton])

The iKamva platform can be utilised for both formative and summative assessments by making use of the Assignments or Tests & Quizzes eTools. These assessments can be linked in a Lessons page, allowing students to test their knowledge in each learning unit in meaningful sequence (Teaching Tip 1). Regular formative assessment (zero or low stakes) can help the student identify gaps in their knowledge, allowing them to revise content more meaningfully. Pre-quizzes at the start of each learning unit can also give students an indication of important areas to focus on. Furthermore, this gives the facilitator insight into the students’ prior knowledge which can be used to adjust the pace of the course.

Question pools can be set up to differentiate between concepts, themes and sections; and a set number of questions can be randomly drawn from the pool. This will ensure that each student’s assessment varies from one to the other. This form of assessment has been used by lecturers at UWC across disciplines as both formative and summative assessment. It is advisable to set up all question pools in advance, allowing you to easily create the assessment when necessary and draw a set number of questions from the pool. Question pools are saved to your iKamva profile, meaning you will be able to use it in any module, and you will be able to re-use your question pools each year.

PGL711_TakeHomeExamCapture

Teaching Tip 3: Student Interaction & Knowledge Building

As we are moving into an era where online teaching will take centre-stage, it is important to understand how online teaching methodologies (e-Learning) differs from the traditional, face-to-face teaching methodologies. Trying to replicate the traditional mode will not always be the most effective for the online learner. Students will be required to be self-directed learners and your online teaching methodology should reflect this. As online learning can be data intensive, it is also important that digital media components are kept simple and easily accessible to all.
Hence, there are important points to consider when taking your course online, listed alongside iKamva eTools which can be used for these purposes:

 

  1. Sequencing & scaffolding of learning content (Lessons eTool)
  2. Regular contact with students (Announcements)
  3. Student interaction & knowledge building (Discussion Forums & Meetings)
  4. Formative & Summative Assessments linked to each learning unit (Test Quizzes,  Assignments eTools)
  5. Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Interaction (Discussion Forums, Chat Room, Meetings [BigBlueButton])

Without the benefit of face-to-face interaction, Discussion Forums can serve as a bridge between the gaps.

  • Discussion Forums will give students the opportunity to interact with the lecturer; and with their peers.
  • Discussion Forums can be used as a Q & A space, whereby students can pose questions related to concepts or topics that they are uncertain of, and these questions can be answered by the facilitator, a tutor, or even another student in the class.
  • Discussion Forums can be a great way for students to express their opinions (student voices); and actively participate in the process of knowledge-building and sharing.
  • Group discussions: The facilitator can create multiple forums and limit it to a specific pre-defined group, meaning that only students in the group are able to interact in the forum. This can be used for collaborative work such as group assignments; or for Tutors to interact with their Tutorial Groups.
  • Discussion Forum can be used for assessment purposes: Students are required to post their responses to a topic or question. Students can then critique other student’s posts, and give their own opinion if they agree or disagree. In some circumstances, it is better to grade students on their time and effort; rather than whether or not the response is correct. This will help to promote interaction and students will not feel apprehensive about sharing their responses.

**See links below on how to create effective & engaging Discussion Forums:

https://elearningindustry.com/lms-forums-used-educators-ways

https://elearningindustry.com/improve-an-online-discussion-forum-3-design-tips

https://elearningindustry.com/how-create-engaging-online-discussion-forums