A Legacy of W.K. Kellogg

Assessing Students' Progress

This free download, Assessing Online Learning: Strategies, Challenges and Opportunities (login required), provides 12 articles. You will need to register with Faculty Focus to access the material, but it is well worth it!

Also, see our Improve section in the Course Design Academy for more ideas.

Bb Grade Center (S|I)

The Blackboard Grade Center is very popular with students – if you're able to keep your grading updated! The Grade Center allows you to assign grades so students can calculate their running performance and monitor their progress.

Here's a tutorial on the Grade Center.

Bb Tests (S|C)

Tests, of course, are the classic performance measure in university courses. Bb Testing tools allow you to create and deploy tests online. However, Blackboard tests do not provide monitoring, so be sure to use best online test practices to reduce cheating.

Here’s a tutorial on Bb Tests.

Surveys (S|I)

Surveys allow you to get immediate feedback from your students and/or assess their learning in ungraded formats. Surveys work best when they are designed so that each item asks only one question, and when questions do not “nudge” students to particular answers.

Here are resources on survey best practices:

You have several options for free online surveys:

More sophisticated or longer surveys may require paid subscriptions to services such as SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics. Cal Poly Pomona does not have site licenses for survey services; check with your department.

Rubrics (S|I)

A "rubric" essentially spells out the expectations and grading criteria for a piece of work in detail. Most often, rubrics look like tables or checklists. Rubrics make life easier for both you and your students because the expectations are clear, all in one place, and they help you grade consistently and quickly.

Here are some resources on how to create and use rubrics:

Blackboard and TurnItIn have rubric features, allowing you to put a rubric right into the online assignment. Here are tutorials:

Bb Assignments (S|C)

In any class, there's work to turn in! Bb Assignments provides a place for students to upload files that you can view, comment on, and grade.

Here's a tutorial on Bb Assignments: Create and Edit Assignments

Plagiarism Prevention

Plagiarism, the bane of academic life. Technology to the (partial) rescue! Here are two options for checking student papers for originality and encouraging proper citation:

At Cal Poly Pomona, ALL academic integrity violations should be reported to the Student Conduct & Integrity Office. You, the instructor, have the right to determine the academic outcome (e.g. zero on the assignment, fail the class). Student Conduct & Integrity determines if disciplinary action should be taken. Please report an incident even if you decide not to take academic action – this helps Student Conduct & Integrity to track if a student is at risk or has multiple incidents that an individual faculty member would not know about.

Student Response Systems, or "Clickers" (S|I)

Clickers work in face to face settings to assess students' knowledge and provide immediate feedback, keep their attention, and encourage participation. Many clicker systems now make use of students' own mobile devices, so students don't have to purchase another gadget.

Here are some resources on using clickers effectively:

Cal Poly Pomona officially supports the iClicker system. Go to our Tools & Technologies page and scroll down to the Student response System section for details.

ePortfolio (S|I)

Electronic portfolios or eportfolios allow students to collect, curate, and comment on their work as evidence of their learning and achievement. Hard copy portfolios are common in many creative disciplines, and now eportfolios make such creations highly portable, infinitely stretchable, and easier to make public.

Cal Poly Pomona provides the Portfolium platform for our students. Other platforms exist, many offering free access with limited features. At eLearning, we like Pathbrite.