Assessment with Moodle

Assessment in the context of online learning can be tricky. Luckily Moodle provides a range of tools that try to make assessment in Moodle courses both easy and accurate.

The most obvious of these is the assignment module. Four types of assignment are supported. They allow users to upload their assignments as text, one or many files or to complete an offline assignment such as a presentation. However they are done these are fairly traditional forms of assessment. The students complete their assignment then they hand it in. The teacher goes through the submitted work and marks it. Sorry, there’s no magic “do my marking for me” button. Electronic assignment submission at least makes it easier to retrieve the student’s work and to check who hasn’t submitted theirs. No more losing student’s work down the back of the desk or manually ticking off student names as assignments come in.

Moodle’s quiz module offers a chance to get ahead of your marking. Although Moodle quizes require an up front investment of time they are, once set up, wholly automated meaning that students can potentially complete the quiz and get their results without your direct involvement. This makes them particularly handy for very large groups of students or students completing self paced courses.

It is also possible to assess students based on their participation in forum, glossary and database activities. Forum posts, glossary entries and database entries can be added by students then rated. These ratings are then aggregated to produce a grade for the student. Ratings can be submitted by just the teacher or, if you’re prepared to try something a little different, students can be allowed to rate their peers and thus contribute directly to the grades of their fellow students. This is something that is really tough in a physical classroom but which becomes manageable with Moodle. Use the ability to influence student grades based with ratings submitted by other students with care however this capacity opens the door to all sorts of student-student learning and can be extremely powerful.

The Moodle workshop module takes the idea of peer assessment to another level. It is unique in that it not only allows students to submit work for you to grade but also allows students to assess each other and for you to assess them on their assessments of their peers. I hope that makes sense 🙂 A well executed workshop activity provides not only the initial assignment but an opportunity for students to critically assess their peers. All under your watchful eye of course.