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.


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