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How to Best Conduct Online Assessments

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800.443.9441 | solutions@blackbaud.com | www.blackbaud.com August 2020 1 TIP SHEET How to Best Conduct Online Assessments Like many schools across the globe, Rothesay Netherwood School (RNS) in Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada had to quickly adapt to an online learning model. The move to remote learning included determining the best way to engage students across time zones (RNS is a boarding school that attracts students from all over the world); combat Zoom fatigue for both faculty and students; and effectively assess students online. In her recent UC20 presentation, Making the Grade: Online Assessment Best Practices, RNS's Director of Technology and Learning Initiatives Tammy Earle, provided best practices that her school used for developing effective online assessments. 1 Balance summative and formative assessments. In April, when the school administration realized that the rest of the school year would be remote, RNS held professional development meetings with teachers over Zoom to discuss assessment strategies for both summative and formative assessment. Earle said the teachers could easily find ways to develop summative assessments, but they struggled with how to conduct formative assessments online. These formative assessments are crucial, said Earle, because they provide valuable data a teacher can use to adjust his or her lesson to a student's needs. "Just because we're online doesn't mean we don't want to adapt our teaching for our students," she said. To help gauge where students are in a lesson, RNS teachers used online discussion boards in Blackbaud Learning Management System TM . Students had to answer specific questions and reply to at least two of their classmates. Earle said teachers saw increased student engagement with many students posting links or images to help support their point. Teachers noticed that some students who were typically quiet on Zoom calls were more active on the discussion boards.

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