What strategies do you use to monitor student learning? How do you know they are learning when they are at a distance?
Discussion Question Four: Monitoring learning
i find this one of the most difficult things with distance learning - the obvious techniques include going over work they have done the previous week.Progress with assessments etc. Using a workbook is helpful because you can quickly tell where they are all up to.
Each weekend I look to see who has visited the educo site. Online time given to show and tell where I pick some students to go over what they have done during the week and use the information as a learning expereince for others. Sharing ideas etc. If in a problem is coming up I email the edean and ask that they check in with the students to see what point they are at. extra online classes have been set up point to point to assist students.
I try a variety of things for this. Every now and then I start off with a 5 question quiz from readings. Generally each week students have specific parts of the week's work that is their job to present to class in VC, either just by answering questions or sometimes presenting a powerpoint slide- it is very easy to tell who is and is not prepared for the task. This year I am getting into the habit of checking when people last logged onto the course as that is a very good indication. I try to keep edeans in the loop.
The strategies that I have found to be most successful are those already mentioned. If students are not submitting work, then I do look to see whether they are accessing Educo, as well as emailing them to see if there any problems. I do email the students a lot - perhaps I should be texting but since I rarely do that in my own life I am not going to put an added burden on myself. I think if students are already online accessing the course then it is not really any trouble for them to use email. There is a pretty constant two-way stream of emails in my course - and since I almost always write in French this encourages the kids to also write in French. Initially I felt a bit retro in still using emails when many of you are texting but I can justify it!
I use the checklist tool quite a lot and have found them to be a good indicator if the student has attempted the work - I know students can cheat the system but just checking all the tasks but I have found that they havent been doing this, they will often complete 70-80% of the tasks and leave one or two tasks unchecked.
I have students send me work fortnightly. Marking this work allows me to see if they have understood the work that has been set.
I do the same as Allan - each week the students need to send me something to check that they are understanding what we are doing. Quite a few don't send work in. Those that send work in get feedback on what they are doing and those that don't I contact them and then the e-dean. So regardless I'm in touch with them all.