Summary and Conclusion to Assessment Tools

The educational conversation surrounding assessment is an enduring one. Educators have always sought out means for accurately measuring and evaluating student learning. As this conversation evolves, a growing chorus of educators are underscoring the value inherent in what are commonly termed authentic assessments. These assessments enable students to demonstrate their understanding by engrossing them in tasks associated with solving everyday challenges through the meaningful application of newly acquired knowledge, skills and competencies.

The technological revolution and the newfound plethora of online tools has equipped teachers with an abundance of novel and innovative techniques and approaches for assessing learning in authentic ways. Similarly, use of these tools often empowers students to showcase their learning in a creative and idiosyncratic fashion wherein their individual personalities can shine through.

Team ObiWan’s assessment toolbox, presented in this wiki, provides three such examples of digitally-based assessment tools. In the first instance, Ken Desautels described an inventive Web 2.0 tool that effectively facilitates class brainstorming and online collaboration called Mural. In the second illustration, Troy Davies drew attention to Prezi as a presentation tool that provides a fresh and dynamic alternative to the much more familiar and conventional PowerPoint. Finally, in the last case, Tracy Gaskin explained the exciting potential of video capture tools by citing Screencast-O-Matic as an accessible and user-friendly example. Our team has attempted to provide an overview of each tool, inclusive of identifying its usefulness, its strengths and limitations, and even a few sample learning objectives that might be linked to use of the instrument as means of assessment in online courses.

By developing this online assessment toolkit we hope to provide our own contribution to the ongoing conversation around how to enhance and enrich the experience of student assessment. As a team of three educators, our shared aspiration is to transform the assessment process into a more authentic, meaningful and significant encounter with, and expression of, student learning.