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Why Rethink Assessment?

The challenges are familiar. How do we assess learners in our online courses in ways that promote student success? How do we ensure academic integrity in online assessment? How do we respect privacy, recognize diversity, and establish equity in our online assessment and feedback practices? Moreover, how do we accomplish this within the limitations of time and available teaching resources?

Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning: a short course for post-secondary educators is a response to online assessment concerns that we have received from our faculty, instructors, teaching assistants, and students. The widespread offering of micro-credentials, HyFlex, hybrid, and fully online learning opportunities has shifted the post-secondary educational landscape and refocused considerable attention on assessment strategies. We believe the time has come to re-examine how we evaluate and provide feedback to our learners.

Our goal is two-fold:

  • challenge educators to rethink traditional approaches to testing and grading, and consider whether these traditional approaches benefit today’s students, graduates, and prospective employers
  • equip educators with the resources, skills, and confidence to adapt their traditional assessment methods to meet evolving sector needs.

We start from the assumption that participants have a basic understanding of formative and summative assessment practices. For a review of foundational assessment principles, please visit one of these excellent resources:

Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning aims to support individual faculty members, as well as teaching and learning centres at colleges and universities with resources and guidance to meet the following outcomes:


Course Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

    1. Reflect on your assessment mindset in the context of online assessment challenges and the evolving Ontario post-secondary landscape.
    2. Design relevant authentic and/or alternative assessments for your course that engage learners and provide insights into a wide variety of discipline-specific and transferable career skills.
    3. Apply strategies for implementing and evaluating authentic and/or alternative digital assessments to support learner success.
    4. Employ assessment, evaluation, and feedback strategies that incorporate principles of equity, diversity, decolonization, inclusion, and accessibility.


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Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning Copyright © 2022 by Seneca College; Durham College; Algonquin College; and University of Ottawa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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