Help educators use digital tools to create effective assessments that provide timely feedback and support personalized learning
In January of 2021, the post Assessment in higher education during COVID-19 and beyond: Will it ever be the same? examined ways in which the massive shift to online teaching and learning necessitated by the Pandemic caused a bit of a reset in assessment strategies (in all levels of education, not just higher education). The Pandemic made it difficult to continue with the same level of high stakes standardized testing that many institutions and instructors were accustomed to and forced them to think about assessing student learning in different ways using digital tools as the medium.
As an alternative to measuring student learning through high stakes, cumulative exams, educators may be encouraged to put more energy into formative assessments and analyzing overall student engagement. One practical way to create meaningful formative assessments tailored to the needs of individual students is by leveraging the data and analytics available in a Learning Management System (LMS). In the May 2021 post, Using Canvas Analytics to Support Student Success, I explore the opportunities present within the Canvas LMS analytics tool (for both in-person and virtual learning). Though the information available via an LMS analytics tool should always be considered in concert with all other factors impacting student behavior in online learning, student engagement and (as measured by LMS analytics tools) can be helpful tools used for identifying struggling students, communicating with them in a timely manner, providing data for student self-reflection, and providing insight into the effectiveness of the instructors’ own course design.