Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blended Assessments of Learning

In an effort to develop a blended course involving online and face-to-face interactions, formal and informal assessments will be implemented within my upcoming course, introduction to cybercrime. For formal assessments, three student quizzes are planned for my introductory course covering topics on cybercrime. Each quiz will assess students' understandings of the concepts within the first three modules on the first quiz, modules four through six on the second quiz, and the final three modules, seven through nine, on the final examination. A time limit will be set for each formal assessment along with the opportunity to retake the assessment a second time, if the student so chooses. Online essays in the form of discussion postings will also be utilized each week for allowing student-to-student interactions. In addition, I will also provide feedback to students' to build upon their critical thinking by posing alternative questions according to their posted reasonings. A quantitative assessment will be used for assessing discussion points as follows: one point for minimal effort, two points for below average effort, three points for an average effort, four points for an above average effort, and finally, five points for a superior effort and response.

For informal assessments two methods will be utilized during the cybercrime course, one-sentence summary and student-generated test questions. However, these two assessments will be implemented during face-to-face interactions rather than online which is in contrast to the suggested method from this week's reading assignment. During classroom sessions, time will be allotted for students to think about the current topic and synthesize a one-sentence summary. I will then randomly read these out loud in class for the students' to comment on the statements for drawing on alternative perspectives regarding the current topic in class. The other method of informal assessment will challenge students to develop three to five ideal test question for the final exam. From this method, students will not only benefit from the direct interaction of the subject matter, but will also gain valuable insight into the final exam which should remove an effort to memorize content for the sake of regurgitating it later on the final exam.

In sum, from this week's assigned reading I identified assessment strategies, formal and informal, for implementing withing my upcoming blended course on cybercrime. First, formal assessments involving quizzes and essays posting in online discussion forums will be assigned to students for evaluating using a quantitative grading rubric. Second, informal assessments, one-sentence summary and student-generated test questions, will be implemented within the classroom for building face-to-face interactions and higher levels of engagements with students. By implementing these two types of blended assessments, the hope for new opportunities of interactions between instructor and students should be a positive reinforcement during course delivery while enhancing the potential for students to build their knowledge of cybercrime topics and issues.