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Before setting up an assessment structure

Before setting up an assessment structure

Brightspace supports modern learning methods and one way it proofs itself is through the variety of assessments that can be accommodated through the platform.

While the above is a great benefit to student’s learning value and success, it is relatively easy for Instructors to overload students with assignments. A tried and tested way of avoiding that is by mapping out the assessment structure of a course well before setting up content in Brightspace.

Questions answered by an assessment plan

At its most basic level an assessment plan answers these three questions:

  1. Which are the desired learning goals for the student?
  2. What evidence will be used to determine how well students have achieved the selected goals?
  3. How will the instructor use the information to improve the course?

The following series of if-then statements can be used as a guide to help answer the three questions of an assessment plan.

  1. What are the desired learning goals?
    • If the course does not have learning goals, we highly recommend for these to be developed first.
  1. What evidence will be used to determine how well students are achieving the selected outcomes?
    • Determine the practices within the course that helps students to achieve the selected outcomes. The best way to approach this is with a curriculum or outcome map.
    • Select the evidence of student learning to be used (i.e., an existing exam, survey, presentation, paper, performance, laboratory test, etc.).
    • Decide when, where, and who will collect this evidence.
    • Determine which method will be used to know if students are accomplishing the learning outcomes i.e.: Rubric , exam items or exam sections that address the learning outcome.
    • Apply your method, score and provide feedback
    • Analyze the data and assess whether the outcomes are being achieved. Make adjustments accordingly
  • With the assessment plan in hand, a Grade Book in Brightspace can be created. To create the Grade Book, simply use the Grades Setup Wizard or enter all items manually. An introduction on the gradebook can be found here.
  • Use categories to group several assessment items together. i.e. group together all items that are related to the competency ‘Analyses’.
  • Make sure that each assessment item is a ‘Grade Item’ in Brightspace. This allows Brightspace to apply grades to the item, which can be used in the calculation of the student’s final grade.

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