I assesses student learning in a manner of ways, looking at attendance, rubric performance, and submission of assignments. Below are some of my observations from previous semesters.
- My teaching methods encourage students to find the answers on their own and share their knowledge. My classes in both spring and fall showed a direct correlation between participation in peer-led discussions and overall grade. The median number of peer postings that students viewed in World Literature was 31 and in British Literature 33. Students who viewed class postings at a greater level than the median scored had a median grade of 86 vs. 74 in World Literature and 87 vs. 72 in British Literature.
- Students who viewed student responses at a rate of 31 per semester had a median score of 10 points higher on their final exams in World Literature and 12 points higher in British Literature.
- Further, students who attended class and participated in group activities and in-class discussion at a level of 80% or more scored a mean grade of 86 vs. 75 for those who missed more than 80%. Both of these suggest that the work they are doing in class and online is helping their larger understanding of the material. Neither attendance nor viewing peer discussions were required or graded.
- My students in both classes completed 8 short assignments. My short assignment rubric measures student improvement in the areas of context, addition of knowledge, source integration and development. By the end of the semester in my world literature class, 82% of the students scored satisfactory (highest level) on 3 of the 4 categories. In British literature by the end of the semester, 93% of students who completed the assignment scored satisfactory at a level on 3 of the 4 elements, while 75% of students completed it with a score of satisfactory on all 4 elements.
- I began looking at attendance and overall performance this year, something I haven’t really looked at before. I found that the average grade for those who attended 70% or more of classes was 3.45. The average for students who attended less than 70% of classes was 2.77. I do not have an attendance policy in my class, and I do not intend to create one, but this information suggests to me that students who attend more often do better, and I plan to discuss this information with my students.
- I continued using my rubrics to improve my teaching assignments and presentation of materials. In Spring 2014, only 84% of 34 students scored the highest marks on my rubric for drawing a clear, developed connection between the text and their online discussions. This semester, 100% of my 35 students have been able to clearly connect their online comments to the text they are discussing. Further, in my 2014 classes, on average only 54% of my students were able to consistently cite scholarly sources appropriately. In my 2015 courses, 87% and 94% of my students consistently cite sources appropriately. I designed new assignments focusing specifically on the areas my students needed to improve based on my findings from previous semesters.
- Students in my class are allowed to revise all of their projects to improve their work, and this year approximately 64% (21) of my students chose to revise their work and increased their scores on the rubrics. Students who chose to revise improved their scores on assignments by one criteria point on average, so for example if a student scored “emerging” on the rubric, that student moved to “satisfactory” in the revision.
- I realized in 2014 that my students were struggling to stay motivated in my hybrid course, so I added two conferences a semester to help keep them anchored to the class and the assignments. I saw a significant improvement in their first assignments during spring semester 2015 vs fall semester 2014.
- Across all the assignment types, my students still struggle most with contextualization and arrangement of Ideas. In the revisions, those areas would improve, but they improved more substantially in some assignment types than others. For example, fifty percent of students completing the lesson plan struggled to clearly contextualize their plans in the first draft, but 100% of students were able to place the discussion into the cultural context by at a level of satisfactory or outstanding, during the revision process. Further, 85% of students who completed the lesson plan assignment struggled with idea arrangement in the initial draft, whereas only 13% scored below satisfactory on the revision. Students completing the website assignment stayed consistent in struggling with both the context and arrangement in their initial drafts and their revisions. Thirty-three percent of students scored satisfactory or below in both contextualization and arrangement on the website assignment regardless of whether the assignment was the draft or the revision. Finally, and must problematic, 100% of students writing an analysis paper scored satisfactory or below on arrangement of ideas in their first draft. Only 11% were able to improve the arrangement of ideas to an outstanding level in the revision. 89% scored satisfactory or below on arrangement in the revision.