Assessment tasks refer to tasks that an instructor requires students to complete and that counts towards their final grades in a course. Assessment tasks, in the relevant literature, are also called assessment (e.g., Dirks, 1998), assessment methods (e.g., Flinders University, 2002), assignments (e.g., Arend, 2006), or assessment tools (e.g., Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2002). While there is a plethora of literature on assessment tasks in traditional environments, there is a paucity of discussions on assessment tasks in online environments (Comeaux, 2005). This short chapter discusses (1) importance of assessment tasks in online courses, (2) opportunities and challenges that online environments bring to assessment tasks, and (3) principles and strategies in design and use of assessment tasks in online courses.
Opportunties And Challenges For Assessment Tasks In Online Courses
Online environments bring opportunities and challenges to assessment tasks (e.g., Comeaux, 2005; Rovai, 2000). The key opportunities and challenges indicated by the literature are summarized in Table 1 below.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Alterative Assessment: Alternative assessment refers to such assessment tasks as case analysis, simulations, and e-portfolios. Such assessment is considered more appropriate and effective for measuring higher order thinking skills.
Traditional Assessment: Traditional assessment refers to such testing techniques as multiple choice questions, fill-in-the-blanks, true-false, matching, and essays.
Online Courses: Courses are offered at a distance. Students do not need to come to campus and can take the course via the Internet.
e-Portfolio: A purposeful electronic collection of work done by a student over time. This type of assessment allows students to demonstrate their efforts, progress, and achievements in one or more areas of the curriculum.
Performance Assessment: A form of assessment that requires students to perform a complex task that has to do with producing a certain product or performing a specific task. This assessment can be used to evaluate any learning that is skill-based or behavioral.
Authentic Assessment: A form of assessment that requires students to demonstrate knowledge and skills in performing real-world tasks.
Assessment Tasks: Tasks that instructors ask students to complete and count towards their final grades in a course.