A student takes a test, and gets a grade. Writes a paper, and gets a grade. Gives a presentation, turns in homework, submits a lab project … more grades. Grading is the engine of education.
As students spend more time with learning management systems, there is a greater desire by instructors to track and grade what students do in their online courses. Online tests offer an obvious way to assess and grade the work of students. Discussion boards also provide a means to grade participation. Beyond that, though, the list of gradable activities in a LMS gets pretty thin.
StudyMate Class is known for how it engages students with learning activities and games. But a fundamental element of StudyMate Class is that it allows instructors to see what each student is doing. How many learning activities did a student view? How many new items did a student contribute to a project? What is the quality of a student’s contributions? Overall, how is the student interacting with the course material?
While it’s possible to use StudyMate Class without the grading component, it’s a bit like driving a car without ever looking at the indicators on the dashboard. In StudyMate Class, the Grade tab is your dashboard. It provides the pulse of each student and summary statistics for the entire class. Are students engaged? Are they using the activities? Is the class on track?
Here are a few ways the Grade tool in StudyMate Class will help you assess students.
1. Class Statistics – A glance at the Class Statistics dashboard offers an overview of what’s happening. Have students begun using the StudyMate project? Does the class need a nudge?
2. Activities Viewed – If the instructor provides all of the content for the learning activities and games, the “Activities Viewed” column offers a clear picture of which students are using the activities. It may be sufficient to grade students solely on this quantitative data.
3. Items Added – In projects where students are tasked with entering multiple choice questions or glossary terms to a StudyMate project, the “Items Added” column provides another quantitative snapshot for each student.
To zero in on the quality of the content entered by the student, click the student’s name. Here you will see a full-text listing of the items the student created, including any edits that were later done by the student or others in the class.
4. Extra Credit – A fun and engaging way to incorporate everything described above is to have students create multiple choice questions based on course content. Tell students you will choose a certain number of the best questions for use on the exam — and that the author of each selected question will receive extra credit. Not only does this encourage students to write quality questions, it also encourages them to review the learning activities because some of the same questions will be on the exam.
That’s four easy grading tips for StudyMate Class. And remember, the data in the Grade tool is always current and integrates seamlessly with the learning management system’s grade book.
Vroom, vroom. Start your engines.