Reflective Blog Post 1 – Assessment in E-Learning

Welcome to my blog, which I have aligned with my Word Press site that I use for my classes and the Science Olympiad teams that I coach.  Word Press was initially created as a blog software but users quickly realized that it could be used as an easy tool to create websites, especially useful for those users not comfortable with HTML (including me!)

I will start by by examining three new things I have learned since starting this class.  First, wikis and surveys are excellent tools for formative assessment.  These simple tools can be used to create variety and provide students with additional opportunities to provide data to teachers on their current level of understanding.  Second, a message board can be a strong tool to allow students to post questions to other classmates and/or the instructor.  Third, there are many different uses for assessment, and it is important for the instructor and student to both understand that assessment can be for learning or assessment can be of learning.

Looking forward to two things I hope to learn in this course, the first item would be how to use a LMS like Moodle more effectively.  I have a Moodle server but I have been learning mostly by just reading online and trying different tools within the software but I know I am using only a small portion of the software and I look forward to learning more tools that I can use within Moodle in my classroom.  Second, I am looking forward to additional alternative formative assessment techniques that can be used to get a better picture of current student learning and understanding.  I find student misconceptions to be one of the biggest issues in the high school math/science classroom and often times students think they understand a topic but have one small issue wrong, or students think they could never understand the topic but are actually very close.  Formative assessment can help in both of these areas by giving the instructor a better picture of the current learning environment.

A final question that I have going forward revolves around the future of online education, especially related to public schools.  In Wisconsin online virtual coursework opportunities have been growing steadily over the past few years.  Do you see this growth accelerating, slowing, or staying pretty steady in the next five to ten years?

Andy from Boyceville, WI

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