Keeping it Real in the Online Classroom: Authentic & Performance-Based Assessment in Action

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1 Keeping it Real in the Online Classroom: Authentic & Performance-Based Assessment in Action Brian Salerno Brandeis University E3 Conference May 2014

2 Brian L. Salerno, M.S. Director of Online Learning & Assessment & Full-Time Faculty & Program Chair, M.S. in Online Instructional Design & Technology We like Brandeis! Rabb School, Graduate Professional Studies 2

3 A Little About Brandeis GPS: Division of the Rabb School, 1 of the 4 Graduate Schools at Brandeis 8 Fully-Online Graduate Degree Programs Bioinformatics Health & Medical Informatics Information Security IT Management Project & Program Management Software Engineering Strategic Analytics Online Instructional Design & Technology Only fully-online degree programs offered at Brandeis Majority of faculty are part-time instructors, fulltime professionals in their fields 3

4 ? 4

5 5

6 Assessment & Assessment Tools Summative Formative After Learning Tools used in summative assessments: Quizzes & Tests Research Papers Other individualized graded assignments High Stakes During Learning Tools used in formative assessment: Adaptive lessons Self-assessments Portfolios & Journals Lower Stakes 6

7 Instructional Models and Assessment Are we measuring knowledge retention, application of skill, or both? Two Instructional Models: Transmission: Instructor imparts, student absorbs, student repeats it. Maps closely to cognitive objectives. Engaged Critical: Teaching and learning as a creative dialogue. Instructor provides platform to apply knowledge. Maps closely to behavioral outcomes. 7

8 Transmission Engaged Critical 8

9 Authentic & Performance-Based Assessment? Learners demonstrate knowledge by applying it in manner simulating real-world. Use of case studies, simulations, projects, role play, workgroup collaboration, and work products. Assessed using conditions that match real-world performance criteria, including peerassessment. 9

10 Traditional vs. Authentic Assessment Traditional Assessment Authentic/Performance-Based Select the Correct Answer Appropriate to Academic Environment Recall & Memorization Driven by Instruction Indirect evidence of Learning Feedback is typically point-driven Individualized and Discreet Academic Integrity Challenge (online) Not very conducive to portfolio building Demonstrate the Correct/Best Action Appropriate to Professional Environment Construction & Application Driven by Students/Learning Direct Evidence of Learning Feedback is rubric-driven and reflective Collaborative and Experiential Academic Integrity Friendly Contributes to a portfolio of work products 10

11 3 Cs of Authentic Assessment 11

12 Why do I Geek Out about Authentic Assessment? 12

13 Why do I Geek Out about Authentic Assessment? because my students are: Adult learners and working professionals Always asking When will I use this in real life? Seeking usable new skills Hungry for opportunities to collaborate Motivated by peer support Value mentors more than instructors Driven by feedback more than grades Asynchronous Online Learners because my faculty colleagues are subject matter experts not highly trained pedagogical experts 13

14 Simple Ways to Introduce Authentic Assessment Introduce activities that simulate workplace roles and real world performance criteria Convert tests and quizzes to self-tests or scenario-based lessons Modify research papers into collaborative research projects Switch between instructor-mode and supervisor-mode when it comes to feedback Create opportunities for students to see and peer-critique each others work products Assign students specific roles or tasks in group assignment or discussions. Shift focus from objectives to outcomes, and match activities and assessments to those outcomes. 14

15 Online Tools for Authentic/Performance-based Assessments Wikis &/or Group Discussion Forums Adaptive or Scenario-Driven Lessons Peer Review Video Conferencing eportfolios Journals Rubrics!!! Rubrics!!! Rubrics!!! 15

16 Authentic Assessment in Action RPJM125 Business & Requirements Analysis Approach: The threaded case study Students are presented with a single case study that is utilized as a basis for performance-based assessments throughout the course Case overlaps 4 major assignments and is often referenced in discussion questions Students are assigned a role (Business Analyst) and must complete real-world tasks as they work their way through the lifecycle of a project 16

17 Authentic Assessment in Action, cont. Approach: The threaded case study, continued Students use the case study throughout to individually complete a Business Case, work in pairs to complete a requirements elicitation Interview Assignment, work individually on a Use Case assignment, and then in groups to build Test Cases. Student s produce work products and are evaluated based on a performance criteria-driven rubric. Each assignment builds on the other, and takes the students through the process of working on a real-world project as they would in a professional setting. 17

18

19 Authentic Assessment Debrief Approach: The threaded case study What s missing? An opportunity to reflect on the process Might add a journal component that asks students to briefly summarize what knowledge and skills they applied and what observations they made and challenges the encountered along the way. An eporfolio A mechanism for students to save and showcase work products for current and future employers 19

20 What s Next for Brandeis GPS and Authentic Assessment? New Program: M.S. in Online Instructional Design & Technology as an innovation incubator and best practice model for authentic & performance-based assessment. Threading authentic assessment not just through an individual course, but through and across the curriculum Multi-course projects Service/Experiential Learning eportfolio Rubrics reviewed by professional advisory board Practicum ties it all together on a real-world project 20

21 Your Examples and Ideas Where have you seen or utilized authentic assessment or performance-based assessment techniques in your own courses? What is working? What are the challenges? How might you apply these techniques in your own courses moving forward?

22 Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, INVOLVE me and I learn -Benjamin Franklin or is it a Chinese Proverb? Teaching is not about providing instruction, but about producing learning -L. Dee Fink 22

23 THANK YOU! Please share your questions or comments

24 Thank you for your participation!

25 Please Follow Me On

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