This page collects resources about different strategies for assessing your students remotely. In many cases, you will be able to retain the assessment strategies and assignments you’d already planned for your class. In some cases, you may need to make significant adaptations. Read on for advice on thinking through how your assignments will work during remote instruction, and technical information about how to administer them. Last update: 3/24/20, 1:30pm EDT
- Adapting or Redesigning Assignments
- Setting Up Assignments in Canvas
- Modifying Grading by Adding or Eliminating Assignments
Adapting or Redesigning Assignments
The most important thing when altering assignments or adding new ones (e.g., to substitute for in-class participation) is to be as clear as possible. Make sure that descriptions, submission procedures, due dates, and grading are all clearly stated and distributed (see our COVID-19 Continuity: Communicating with Your Class page for suggestions on clear communication).
You and your students can use Canvas’s Assignments tool for submitting and grading major written, audio, video, and other easily digitizable assignments. Some kinds of assignments, such as those that would have required group work, studio time, specialized software, or access to the Library, may need special consideration.
Adding Repeating/Weekly Assignments
If attendance and classroom participation are normally a part of your grading scheme, you may need to find an alternative way to assess students’ active involvement in class. If you choose not to use discussion forums, which we describe on the COVID-19 Continuity: Activities and Discussions page, you might want to substitute a reading reflection assignment for each class day or week. You can add such assignments in Canvas using the Assignments tool (described below). Remember that you will need to make clear to students how they will be graded, and they may require alterations to your gradebook.
Assignments with Group Work
In-person group work is not possible at this time. Students can use Google Hangouts Meet with their Champlain accounts to videoconference about their work. Meet has accessibility features like live captioning that help make participation equitable, and students can record their sessions if needed. You can refer students to our tutorial on using Hangouts Meet here.
Students can also use collaborative Google Docs or other G-Suite tools. If you generally feel comfortable with Canvas and are ready to “level up” your use, you can create small student groups with workspaces, discussions, and additional levels of student autonomy within your Canvas course. However, for many group projects, Hangouts Meet and G-Suite tools are adequate.
For performance-based, lab, or multimedia projects, you may have special technical considerations as well as the challenges of remote collaboration. Your program may be able to provide additional help. The CLT is working to gather more resources, which will be included below with information on studio and lab needs.
Assignments Requiring the Library
Library staff are still working! Librarians are working to provide access to electronic course materials. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about electronic versions of your current course materials, streaming video options, or to find alternative online course materials. While students cannot access the physical library at this time, research help is still available for finding digital sources. Students and faculty can use the regular reference librarian chat tool, email the reference desk, or make an appointment for phone or Google Hangout assistance. More information is available here.
Assignments Requiring Studio or Lab Time
Please consult your Program Director about possible solutions. In some (but not all) cases, students may be able to use Champlain-owned software remotely. Your Program Director has the most accurate and up-to-date information about the options available to you.
The easiest way to carry out testing is through the Quizzes function in Canvas. You can use Quizzes for quizzes and tests of all lengths and grade values, as well as ungraded check-in surveys. Canvas’s guide to creating and using Quizzes is available here.
If you have students whose disability accommodations entitle them to extra time on tests, you can consult this guide for information on how to provide extra time in Canvas.
More information to come.
Setting Up Assignments in Canvas
The Assignments tool in Canvas allows you to integrate an assignment description and requirements, a dropbox for turning it in, any required prep materials (readings, videos, a PDF of the description, etc) you may want to include, a due date reminder for students, and a gradebook entry with point value in one step. We strongly recommend using Assignments. Learn more about creating Canvas Assignments in this guide.
Using Canvas, you can also create other types of required exercises using Discussions and Quizzes. Quizzes are discussed above. We cover Discussions in more detail on our COVID-19 Continuity: Activities and Discussions page.
Modifying Grading by Adding or Eliminating Assignments
It is okay to make logical changes to your grading scheme if necessary, as long as students are clearly informed. Between the lack of in-person contact, possible redesign of assignments that cannot be completed as planned, and the lost week of instruction, some changes are probably inevitable. Communicate these changes to your students as soon as possible so there are no surprises at the end of the semester!
A few suggestions:
- Try to avoid altering grading in such a way that assignments students already completed are weighted more heavily than they expected.
- If you are dropping assignments, consider whether you want to replace them with something more manageable that has an equal value, or how you might count forms of distance participation like discussion forums or reflection assignments as a substitute.
- If you usually include class attendance and/or in-person participation in your grade scheme, determine how you will assess that through remote activities or make up those points.
The CLT can help you make changes to your Canvas gradebook as necessary.