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Journal Issue
Volume 8 Issue 1 / Jan 2010  pp1‑50

Editor: Shirley Williams

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Emerging Patterns in Transferring Assessment Practices from F2f to Online Environments  pp1‑12

Ronald Beebe, Selma Vonderwell, Marius Boboc

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This study explores the transfer of assessment practices from f2f to online environments by college instructors, with a particular interest in the factors influencing assessment in online learning settings. Assessment is a critical aspect of the learning environment, and considerable research has suggested various methods of formative and summative assessment for the f2f classroom. However, there has been less research into the ways in which these traditional forms of assessment are being incorporated into the online learning environment, or whether they may even be appropriate. This study investigated the perceptions of seven higher education faculty, with experience teaching courses in both the f2f and online environments, regarding the transfer of assessment practices between the two delivery formats. Specifically, this study explored the transfer of assessment practices from f2f to online environments by college instructors in two higher education institutions: a four‑year college and a two‑year community college. The authors propose that an understanding of both assessment for learning and of learning is needed to support effective faculty practices and enhanced student learning in online courses. Consequently, it is important to study the impact of assessment strategies and techniques faculty employ to better understand various instructional practices that effectively centre on enhanced student learning. A phenomenological approach was employed for the analysis of data involving seven online course instructors at two higher education institutions, a four‑year college and a two‑year community college. Findings indicate several factors that influence the transfer of assessment practices from f2f to online environments. Data analysis points to several areas of interest related to the design of online assessment: time management, complexity of content, structure of online medium, student responsibility and initiative, and informal assessment. Authors suggest the incorporation of tradition classroom assessment techniques in the online learning environment should be considered in light of the factors described above. In particular, assessments for continuous and improved learning are important for the development of an engaged community of learners in the online environment. As technologies continue to evolve, a pedagogical framework that considers the learning environment differences between traditional and face to face classes becomes increasing imperative, both in terms of understanding the delivery and mediation of instruction. Such a framework will need to address both aspects of process and product in assessment. Consequently, future research needs to examine what strategies of techniques are effective in the assessment for learning in online instruction. 


Keywords: Online learning, online assessment, assessment for learning, assessment of learning, transfer of assessment practices, online faculty


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