Graded Weekly Online Discussions
What to ask:
- Questions that require original thought, synthesizing of ideas, demonstrate comprehension of a concept
- Something that doesn’t have a direct answer in their text book or video lectures
- Mix it up—ask for text or video answers (video could be a webcam answer, or it could be recording something outside, a task they need to compete a demo etc.)
- Have them do a web search and post sites, images or videos to support their answer
- The more fun and engaging it is, the more students will be excited to participate, and therefore learn!
How to Grade:
- Establish clear guidelines about quality and quantity.
- A grading rubric is a great tool that helps you quickly and fairly evaluate the post each week, and it communicates to the students what you are looking for
This will allow you to monitor their progress and give frequent feedback. Long-term retention is strengthened when students make mistakes and then correct them. This type of assignment gives students plenty of room to try out new approaches and demonstrate growth.
- Ask for weekly summaries of big ideas
- Give them options on how they can respond - text, audio, video, on-going blog or website
- Assign a few well-designed problems to work out and ask students to include their thought process (quality over quantity – this is good for you AND good for them!)
- If it needs to be worked out on paper, they can take a picture and submit that to an Assignment, Quiz or Discussion
- Mix it up: have them collaborate with partners or in small groups
Have your students focus on real-world application of the information from their discipline.
- Reflections (from University of Birmingham)
- Discussion boards
- Craft your prompt and have students reply, and reply to another student for a grade
- Use a grading rubric for discussions. It speeds up your grading while making expectations clear for students.
- Use prompts that do not have a single “correct” answer. This helps to encourage discussion
- Assign students to be discussion board leaders where they pose questions and respond to other students
- Utilize your TAs to help manage online discussions and provide feedback to students
- Video presentations using VoiceThread
- Students can upload a PowerPoint and add video/audio comments to narrate them
- Make an e-Portfolio
- Make a webpage/wiki - Google Sites , Blackboard wiki
Authentic Assessment Toolbox, Jonathan Mueller
Have your students apply key concepts from your discipline to analyze information.
- Case study analysis
- Data/graph analysis
- Create graphs or figures using supplied data. These can also be uploaded to the discussion board.
- Analysis or critique of a performance, piece of artwork, poem, chapter, etc.
- Write a meaningful paragraph with key terms provided
- Drawings to illustrate concepts and connections
Have your students create a resource that can be used for the class in the future or as an example of resources that will be needed in the discipline.
- Supply key terms and have students connect them
- Create concept maps with tools such Canva or LucidChart
- Students can contribute definitions for Blackboard’s Glossary tool.
- Student created abstracts, summaries, infographics (With Canva or Piktochart )
- Literature reviews, annotated bibliographies
- Research or project proposals
- Students create test and/or quiz questions and discussion board questions