Week 7: Assessment Strategies

By July 31, 2020April 5th, 2024Smeal Academy Newsletter

Smeal Academy: Fall 2020 Readiness – Week 7

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of Fall 2020. Between now and the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, we will be sending weekly emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

This week, we share resources and strategies that explore assessment strategies for remote and hybrid instruction. Remember that assessments should reveal how well students have learned what we want them to learn. Asking yourself these three questions will set you off on the right path, regardless of mode:

  1. What do I want students to know how to do when they leave this course? (learning objectives)
  2. What kinds of tasks will reveal whether students have achieved the learning objectives I have identified?
  3. What kinds of activities in and out of class will reinforce my learning objectives and prepare students for assessments?

Once you have made these determinations, determine how you can utilize Canvas for the submission and grading of all assignments. This will allow you to be the most agile and allow for easier submission to LionPATH at the end of the semester. You may also consider adaptations that discourage cheating such as the following: breaking up larger exams into smaller, lower-stakes exams; allowing the use of open-book; and/or employing problem- or project-based assessments.


Current News

Fall Student Communication Recommendations Last week, faculty received details outlining recommendations for communications to our students based on course instructional mode. The email recommends a timeline of August 3 (or earlier) for an initial communication to students via LionPATH or email. For details outlined in this email and communication templates, please refer to this document linked on the University’s Keep Teaching website.

Zoom Meeting Changes

Starting Sept. 27th, 2020, all meetings must have either a Waiting Room or Passcode enabled. A passcode is now part of the default meeting settings for all new meetings. However, if you are using a meeting that was previously set up without a passcode or waiting room, Zoom will automatically add a waiting room to that meeting. This list of FAQs from Zoom describes this change and what you should do to respond.

Schreyer Institute Faculty Survey

To ensure that efforts of the Online Faculty Teaching Communities (FTC) sponsored by the Schreyer Institute are aligned with faculty needs, they have developed a very brief, three-item, faculty needs survey. Please consider taking a few minutes (estimated completion time is about 5 minutes) to provide your feedback.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Student Engagement and Connection Strategies: This session will review active learning strategies for remote and asynchronous teaching contexts. Join us Wednesday, July 29 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. via Zoom.
  • Assessment Strategies for Remote Learning: This session will explore strategies and best practices for assessment when some or all of your students are learning remotely. Join us Wednesday, August 5 from 2 to 3 p.m. via Zoom.

NOTE:  Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG  Website.

Tips of the Week

Tip #1: Rubrics are an extremely helpful tool for grading. Add a rubric to your Canvas assignments (https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-26472-how-do-i-add-a-rubric-to-an-assignment) to provide students with clear assignment expectations and to help you be more consistent in grading students across multiple students and sections.

Tip #2: Consider adding an academic integrity page to your course orientation or getting started materials. Students can sign the Smeal Honor Code online. Please refer to this sample Academic Integrity lesson with a link for students to sign the online honor code.


Ask eLDIG/RIIT – Open Consultations

Zoom Hours:

  • Thursday, July 9, 1 to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 16, 10 to 11 a.m.
  • More to be announced


Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: course-support@smeal.psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.