MCC will host the Instructional Technology Council's professional development audioconference entitled, "Assessing Online Course Discussion," on Tuesday, October 10 from 2:00-3:00pm in the Board Lounge. The presenter is Karen Swan, Professor, Kent State University.
Value in any instructional system comes from assessment; what is assessed in a course or program is what is valued; what is valued becomes the focus of activity. The link to learning is direct. Instructors signal what knowledge skills and behaviors they believe are most important by assessing them. Students quickly respond by focusing their learning accordingly. Many theoretical and empirical analyses emphasize the importance of active participation and collaboration among students in promoting the effectiveness of online learning. Asynchronous discussion, in particular, is frequently touted as having the potential to support both collaborative knowledge building and individual critical reflection. However, in most online courses, traditional instructor-centered examinations and assignments remain the primary means for assessing student performance. Online discussion is undervalued, and so marginalized. If you don't grade them, they won't come.
This presentation will help you to understand why it is important to assess online discussion, give you some ideas for structuring and managing that assessment, and start you thinking about how you can use assessment to make online discussions all you hoped they could be.
To reserve a seat, contact Melissa Burley via email or at Ext. 3017.
Educational Technology Services