S. Arnold

The University of Arizona South (UNITED STATES)
Assessment is the process of collecting, synthesizing, and interpreting information in order to make a decision (Airasian & Russell, 2007, p. 9). Value in any instructional system comes from assessment: what is assessed in a course or a program is generally associated with value; what is valued becomes the focus of activity (Swan et al., 2007). Effective assessment typically includes ongoing “formative assessment” checkpoints, and end of term “summative assessment.” Instructors signal what knowledge skills and behaviors they believe are most important by assessing them, while students quickly respond by focusing their learning accordingly (Swan et al., 2007). The end-of-course assessment method, and more specifically the requirements that underlie this assessment mode, make a difference (Struyven et al., 2006). In an online, asynchronous course, whereby the students and instructor do not meet, obtaining reliable assessment measures becomes more difficult than in a traditional face-to-face class. If exam proctoring is not an option other innovative means of measuring student learning outcome must be examined.

This paper explores the creation of digital audio and video as a means for students to demonstrate learning outcomes in an online university course when exam proctoring is not possible. Although as an instructor it is possible to elicit online quizzes, papers, and projects from students it is important to collect several pieces of information about the performance being assessed to increase reliability (Airasian & Russell, 2007). Without the exam proctor possibility, determining who is (and how many are) involved in the submission of the common assessment items is problematic. As a means to strengthen assessment reliability, and foster students’ creative engagement, the use of digital audio and video pontifications in online courses at a large USA university will be examined and discussed as a viable means to foster better assessment experiences for students and instructors.

Airasian, P.W., & Russell, M.K. (2007). Classroom assessment: Concepts and application (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Struyven, K., Dochy, F., Janssens, S., Schelfhout, W., & Gielen, S. (2006). The Overall Effects of End-of-Course Assessment on Student Performance: A Comparison Between Multiple Choice Testing, Peer Assessment, Case-Based Assessment and Portfolio Assessment. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 32, 202-222.
Swan, K., Schenker, J., Arnold, S. & Kuo, C-L. (2007). Shaping online discussion: Assessment matters. E-mentor, 1 (18), at: