CoI Cognitive presence icon

The term '360 degree feedback' is commonly used in the workplace to describe the ability to gather self, peer, and supervisor input to determine one's performance. With regard to educational research, there is an emphasis on triangulating data sources and analysis in order to validate the study findings. Thus, in an online course, self, peer, and teacher assessment should be an integrated process rather than a series of isolated events, in order to help students develop their own metacognitive skills and strategies.

Quotation

An integrated approach to assessment in an online course allows for the creation of a visible teaching and learning framework where 'teachers SEE learning through the eyes of their students and students SEE themselves as their own teachers'.

John Hattie (2009)
Professor of Education

For example, with regards to written assignments, students can receive peer feedback during the writing process that allows them to gain different perspectives on their work. Then using the assignment rubric they can use a self assessment process to check and reflect on their work. And, teacher (expert) feedback can provide additional advice and guidance on how to improve their work.

This triad approach also provides an advantage to teachers since the responsibility and workload for assessment in an online course is distributed amongst all the participants.

The next activity will explain more about the three forms of assessment and demonstrate how digital technologies can be used to integrate the different types of assessment into a triad approach in an online course.

This section will explain more about the three forms of assessment and demonstrate how digital technologies can be used to integrate the different types of assessment into a triad approach in an online course.

In the following activity, click on the pinpoints to learn more about the three forms of assessment used in a triad approach. Then, click 'Next' to move to the next screen and think about what digital technologies could be used to implement each form of assessment in the triad approach. Finally, use the 'Next' button again to reveal some example technologies on the diagram and click on the pinpoints to find out more about each example.
Consider the following outlines of the three forms of assessment used in a triad approach. Then, think about what kind of technologies you could use to support the triad approach before moving on to reflect on our suggestions.
Blended learning icon

Portfolio activity

Reflect on an assignment you are planning to use in your online course. How...

PROGRAMME | Teaching Online
COURSE | Being a successful online teacher
UNIT | 5 : Using assessment in online teaching
PAGE TITLE | Triad approach to online assessment

Self-reflection

The ability of students to assess their own learning through the use of guided question prompts from the teacher.


Peer feedback

Peer assessment enables learners to assess and give feedback to other learners (their peers) in an online course. Feedback from peer assessment might also be used by a teacher when assigning individual grades for team assignments.


Teacher/external feedback

The role of a teacher in an online course is to provide ongoing and meaningful assessment feedback in order to help students develop the necessary metacognitive skills and strategies to take responsibility for their own learning.


What digital technologies could you use to support the triad approach for assessment?

Make a note of your thoughts, then continue on for our ideas.


Our thoughts:

Blogs

A web-based personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks to other blogs that the author of the site visits on a regular basis. In an online course, blogs can be used to support self-reflection of course assignments allowing students to take a deeper approach to their learning by going 'public' with their work.


Online quizzes

Online quizzes can provide students in an online course with a form of rapid formative assessment. They can be constructed by online teachers in a learning management system (LMS)/virtual learning environment (VLE) or accessed from a textbook publisher or other commercial website.


Wikis

A wiki is a collection of web pages that can be edited by anyone, at any time, from anywhere. In an online course, wikis can be used by students to collaboratively create and assess course notes, online discussion summaries, group essays, and even course textbooks.


Personal response systems

In blended learning courses, personal response systems (e.g. clickers) can be used in the face-to-face sessions to support a form of peer teaching and learning (Crouch & Mazur, 2001). The process begins with the teacher posing a question or problem. The students initially work individually towards a solution and 'vote' on what they believe is the correct answer by selecting the desired numbered or lettered response on their clicker. The results are then projected for the entire class to view. For a good question, there is usually a broad range of responses. Students are then required to compare and discuss their solutions with the person next to them in the classroom in order to come to a consensus. Another 'vote' is taken but this time only one response or clicker per group can be utilised. In most circumstances, the range of responses decreases and usually centres around the correct answer.


Peer review tools

Digital applications such as the Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) tool provide students with an opportunity to practise critical thinking by assessing their peers' writing.


E-portfolios

An e-portfolio is a digital collection of evidence demonstrating a student's learning journey in an online course. Types of evidence in an e-portfolio might include 'writing samples, photos, videos, research projects, observations by mentors and peers, and/or reflective thinking'. Reflection is one of the most important elements of an e-portfolio: learners should be encouraged to think about why they selected each piece of evidence and what they learned overall from the process of developing the e-portfolio (Barrett, 2010).


Drop boxes

A drop box is a 'digital space' for students to submit their course assignments. For example, most course LMS/VLEs have an internal digital drop box that often provides students with an email confirmation when they have correctly submitted their work to this digital space.

There is also a free commercial application called Dropbox which allows students and teachers to share 'virtual' folders that can be used to submit assigned coursework.


Final thoughts

The triad approach involves students using rubrics, blogs, and online quizzes to provide themselves with self-reflection and feedback on their course assignments. They can then receive further peer feedback on their coursework via the use of wikis, clickers (or online polling), and other peer review tools. Finally, teachers and in some cases external experts can review students' e-portfolios and use digital video technologies to observe student performance, diagnose student misconceptions, and provide additional assessment feedback.

Useful links

Assessment Reform Group, 'Assessment for learning: 10 principles...

International organisations such as UNESCO are placing a greater focus on assessment for learning, rather than on assessment for just measurement and accountability, especially with regard to the use of digital technologies in this process (Midoro, 2012). The use of a triad approach to assessment in an online course may lead to Hattie's (2009) vision of a visible teaching and learning framework where 'teachers SEE learning through the eyes of their students and students SEE themselves as their own teachers'.


Quotation

An integrated approach to assessment in an online course allows for the creation of a visible teaching and learning framework where 'teachers SEE learning through the eyes of their students and students SEE themselves as their own teachers'.

John Hattie (2009)
Professor of Education

Do you agree with this statement? How do you think a visible teaching and learning framework helps teachers and students understand each other's point of view? What would a visible teaching and learning framework look like in your classroom?

Portfolio

Duration: 45 minutes

Reflect on an assignment you are planning to use in your online course.

How could digital technologies be used to support a triad approach to assessment for this assignment?

  • Consider creating a rubric for this assignment.
  • Think of how students could use this rubric to self-assess their work and then think of a digital application that could be used to support this process.
  • Reflect on how you could incorporate a peer assessment component into this assignment. What kind of digital application would be appropriate for supporting this process?
  • Think about your assessment role for this assignment. How will you provide effective (but efficient) formative and summative assessment and what kind of digital tools would be appropriate to facilitate the process?

Use the attached document to record your ideas, or complete the relevant page of your Teaching Online portfolio.

Useful links