For this assignment, you will examine recent literature to determine how to develop a positive learning experience through assessment and evaluation. Today, the e-learning opportunity concerns finding ways to create meaningful and relevant ways to present valuable learning experiences and to effectively assess these experiences.
Based on the literary research you have conducted for this assignment, write a paper that describes the following in detail:
Determine the types of learning proficiency needed to provide meaningful online learning experiences for learners.
Include examples of online learning communities and quality feedback.
Develop criteria and create an assessment rubric you would use to determine if an educational or training event was effective.
Discuss your personal experiences with assessments in the e-learning environment.
Were they effective?
What would you change?
Length: 5-7 pages, not including title and reference pages
Enhancing Positive Learning Experiences Through Assessment
The primary objective of every education curriculum is to instil knowledge and skills that can help learners surmount common challenges and lead a fulfilling life. Accordingly, educators must ensure that the curriculum used to educate learners is relevant to societal needs. In addition, an effective curriculum must ensure that the learners obtain critical thinking skills and the ability to formulate creative solutions to unique challenges. The need to ensure enhance students’ knowledge and ultimately improve their ability to solve challenges make knowledge gathering and impartation an essential part of the education process. Unfortunately, many educators fail to recognize the role of assessment in enhancing learning experiences. While knowledge impartation focuses on ensuring that learners cover every bit of the curriculum, assessment aims to evaluate and analyse students’ performance to improve learning and accountability.
The Role and Importance of Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment is an essential part of the education process and an essential tool that educators can use to gauge a learner’s ability to grasp concepts and application of the obtained knowledge in real-life circumstances. According to Clark, assessment involves a variety of methods and tools for evaluating, measuring, and recording students’ learning progress, educational needs, and skill acquisition (3). Mostly, the most common type of assessment is the traditional standardized tests administered to students on a regular basis. However, educators can deploy several assessment tools to measure learners’ comprehension of concepts and skill grasp beyond such tests. Thus, practical assessment should evaluate certain critical aspects such as learners’ level of knowledge about a particular concept, or ability to understand a skill that has already been taught or one that they are required to cover in future (Khan 580). Through such evaluations, an educator is able to identify a learner’s individual weaknesses and strengths in order to provide the appropriate feedback and support (Jimaa 719). In general, the purpose of assessment is to gauge learners’ level of knowledge and skill acquisition in order to formulate the most appropriate intervention strategy that can enhance their learning outcomes.
Challenges Associated with Assessment
Although the overarching objective of educational evaluation is improving the learning process by helping learner’s close performance gaps, research indicates that often, teachers’ feedback does not play a very significant role in enhancing student outcomes. According to Hill and Harry, there are substantial gaps between the educators’ perception of feedback and the learners’ experiences (83). Such differences undermine the role of assessment as a tool for improving learning outcomes (Hill and Harry 83). Research into the efficacy of evaluation in enhancing learning outcomes has identified several obstacles that make it difficult for learners to translate assessment feedback into better results. They include ambiguous or problematic feedback, badly timed feedback, generalized responses that do not address individual student concerns, and overwhelming feedback that is difficult to decode (Hill and Harry 83). In sum, even though assessment feedback plays a pivotal role in improving student outcomes, specific challenges such as bad timing and ambiguity can undermine its ability to impact positively on performance.
Formulating Positive, Impactful Feedback
Research on the role of feedback has identified various strategies that educators can use to surmount common challenges, especially those that undermine learners’ ability to utilize teachers’ input in improving performance thoroughly. While there are several approaches that educators can use to enhance feedback and learning outcomes, two foundational strategies have been identified to be the most effective. They include the need to ensure that feedback occupies a central position within the teacher-student dialogue and future-oriented feedback.
The Central Role of Feedback in Dialogic Learning and Teaching
Providing dialogic assessment feedback is an essential step in the effort to ensure positive learning experiences. Dialogic response in this context refers to feedback that enhances meaning and understanding between the educator and the student, or communication between different learners (Hill and Harry 83). Dialogic feedback aims to bridge the communication gap created by written feedback, which is essentially a monologue since the student only reads the assessment report. Adopting a dialogic response thus helps foster interaction between teachers and students, enabling the latter to understand the contents of the assessment report fully (Hill and Harry 83). In general, adopting a dialogic feedback approach enhances the interaction between educators and learners, making it easy to understand and utilize assessment feedback.
Providing future-oriented feedback is essential in enhancing positive learning experiences. Often, students attribute the failure to utilize assessment feedback to the challenges associated with transferring such input to future work (Hill and Harry 83). Accordingly, educators should ensure that the response provided to learners can help them solve future problems relating to academic work and performance. In order to achieve this objective, there is a need to expose learners to an assessment criterion that can help them predict future expectations and standards; this helps them enact appropriate interventions that can enhance performance (Hill and Harry 83). In general, providing future-oriented feedback exposes learners to assessment criteria, hence enabling them to utilize feedback to improve future performance.
Enhancing Positive Online Learning Experiences
The advent of technology and its adoption in the education sector has played a pivotal role in improving online learning. Just like the conventional physical classes, online classes come with their fair share of challenges. For example, due to the inability to predict that
Character and demographics of students, it becomes challenging to develop practical classes. Secondly, educators might find it challenging to establish critical characteristics, such as individual students’ learning styles, expectations, and needs. Solving these challenges requires online learners to possess specific features, such as strong communication and adept technology skills.
Online classes involve frequent communication between learners and educators. Indeed, clear communication enables students to understand course content fully. In addition, the ability to communicate fluently enables learners to clearly articulate their problems, hence making it easy for the educator to formulate an intervention strategy that can respond adequately to the learner’s needs (Mupinga, Robert and Dorothy 186). Overall, the ability to communicate enhances the interaction between educators and online students, ultimately leading to better educational outcomes.
Use of Technology
The ability to use technology is a crucial requirement for online students. Indeed, technological platforms are the primary method of communication between online learners and teachers. For example, such students are expected to regularly and promptly contact their professors using emails and other platforms such as their course websites (Mupinga, Robert and Dorothy 186). The ability to use such avenues enables learners to seek clarifications if they experience challenges understanding assessment feedback, ultimately enhancing their learning outcomes. On the whole, the ability to use technology enables online students to communicate with educators and seek clarifications for understanding assessment feedback.
The success of an educational project or training depends on a trainer’s ability to focus on the core elements of training and avoid generalizations that cloud the learner’s judgment and understanding. In order to ensure positive learning outcomes, a trainer needs to develop an assessment criterion that focuses on the mastery of course content and the ability to utilize the skills and knowledge obtained into practice.
Mastery Of Course Content
Testing mastery of course content is essential in the effort to enhance positive learning outcomes. In my view, deploying standardized tests can help an educator gauge the learners’ mastery of course content at different levels and enact the appropriate measures for addressing the identified challenges.
Practical Use of Knowledge and Skills.
Testing the learners’ ability to apply the obtained skills and knowledge in real life circumstances is an essential part of enhancing positive learning outcomes. In order to test students’ skill use, an educator can ask them to identify and solve common societal challenges using the gained knowledge and skills.
Experience with Assessments In E-Learning Environments
As an open and distance learning student, I have extensive experience with e-learning assessments. Admittedly, at first, I experienced challenges understanding the assessment reports, and as a result, my performance remained dismal for the first two academic years. However, after talking to most of my lecturers, I realized that understanding assessment feedback required me to create time and discuss them with the involved educators to understand specific details about my strengths and weaknesses. This realization made it possible for me to utilize my assessment reports to improve my performance fully. In essence, assessment reports have been instrumental in improving my academic performance.
Generally, the role of assessment is to measure knowledge and skill acquisition among learners and identify and address challenges that impede learning. By regularly testing learners’ understanding of concepts, educators can measure and evaluate progress and enact the appropriate interventions. While the regular contact between teachers and students in physical classes makes it easy for the latter to utilize assessment reports, the physical barriers that characterize online courses make it challenging for learners to understand feedback. In order to enhance their ability to use assessment reports, online students need to be proficient communicators and adept users of technology.
Clark, Ian. “Assessment is for learning: Formative assessment and positive learning interactions.” Florida Journal of Educational Administration & Policy Vol 2.1 (2008): 1-16.
Hill, Jennifer, and Harry West. “Improving the student learning experience through dialogic feed-forward assessment.” Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education Vol 45.1 (2020): 82-97.
Jimaa, Shihab. “The impact of assessment on students learning.” Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences Vol 28 (2011): 718-721.
Khan, Babar. “Relationship between assessment and students’ learning.” International Journal of Social Sciences and Education Vol 2.1 (2012): 576.
Mupinga, Davison M., Robert T. Nora, and Dorothy Carole Yaw. “The learning styles, expectations, and needs of online students.” College teaching Vol 54.1 (2006): 185-189.