About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 354-360
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

ASSESSMENT METHODS IN ONLINE ART AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY COURSES

A. Ter-Stepanian

Southern Connecticut State University (UNITED STATES)
Online courses are becoming increasingly popular in the higher education, and the faculty involved in the adaptation of face-to-face courses to online format faces a wide range of problems. Distance learning poses new problems for instructors and changes the traditional understanding of instructional design; many pedagogical issues need to be redefined in online instructional design, and assessment of students’ learning effectiveness is among them. Evaluating the students’ command of the material is particularly pertinent when both instruction and testing are administered in a completely online, asynchronous environment. The problem is especially poignant for art history and architectural history due to the nature of these disciplines. Traditional assessment methods in face-to-face art history courses include slide recognition, knowledge of material through multiple-choice or short answer testing, style recognition of unknown artworks, and short essays; they emphasize knowledge and comprehension (lower-order skills in Bloom’s taxonomy). Both slide recognition and style recognition of unknown works require students’ physical presence in the classroom and can’t be used in the online environment. The picture for timed quizzes is mixed; not all online art history courses use them. The recent trend in the theory of instructional design places a strong emphasis on positive learning outcomes of discussion board assignments. Discussion boards have definite advantages and are widely used in all online courses, including art history online courses. Discussion board forums are very effective for establishing group discussions, fostering collaboration in the virtual classroom, establishing engaging learning environment, and they should be used for development critical thinking in art history online courses (higher-level thinking in Bloom’s taxonomy). Without underestimating the role of discussions, it should be noted that overly relying on discussion board assignments in the online classroom has its disadvantages. Undoubtedly, students carry rigorous research before posting their discussions, however there is no guarantee that the students read the textbook or other assigned materials. When delivery of material is administered in the online environment the instructor doesn’t have any tools to ensure the students’ even very basic familiarity with the entire material only based on students’ writings - discussions and papers. Therefore, assessments have to be designed to ensure all levels of students’ learning.
The paper discusses learner assessments methods in asynchronous online art and architectural history courses and evaluates their effectiveness; it analyzes the following types of assignments and compares their learning outcomes: timed online quizzes and tests, discussion board topics, illustrating art-historical and architectural terms, compiling visual style guides. Based on students’ testimonies and observations of over ninety online courses developed and taught over the last nine years the author argues that, despite recent instructional ideology, timed tests should not be excluded from the online classroom and should be used as an effective tool to ensure students’ familiarity with basic concepts and ensure students’ command of the factual material.
@InProceedings{TERSTEPANIAN2010ASS,
author = {Ter-Stepanian, A.},
title = {ASSESSMENT METHODS IN ONLINE ART AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY COURSES},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {354-360}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Ter-Stepanian
TI - ASSESSMENT METHODS IN ONLINE ART AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY COURSES
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 354
EP - 360
ER -
A. Ter-Stepanian (2010) ASSESSMENT METHODS IN ONLINE ART AND ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY COURSES, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 354-360.
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