Online learning is becoming more and more popular and, in many ways, has become a new standard in education. The flipped classroom is one successful methodology that has been implemented in several institutions all over the world.
The biggest concern for educators, though, is the challenge of measuring and monitoring performance through online methods. In general, they have to rely on the integrity of the student and trust that the work presented is authentic. Nevertheless, there are ways to track performance and it can be done successfully.
It is very easy for online students to fall behind and try and cram all their work into a single week. When push comes to shove and they have to write an exam, it is too late to address any shortcomings.
For this reason, continuous online quizzes need to be posted. These quizzes do not have to be lengthy, but they need to be mandatory. There are several tools you can use that can make your marking load much easier, especially if you use multiple-choice type quizzes. They can be marked automatically and are great for determining areas of work where large groups have the biggest issues.
If you are in the position to do so, personal interviews or small focus groups can provide an educator with some valuable qualitative data. Students will have the opportunity to voice their concerns and you will also be able to determine proficiency through oral assessment.
The benefit of small focus groups is that students feel less threatened and open up much easier about the things they struggle with. Usually, the conversations develop organically and educators can address their concerns immediately.
Peer review is an excellent tool that educators can use to determine whether students are on track or not. They can be brutally honest with each other and are quick to point out any flaws in each other.
A common occurrence during peer review exercises is that students will challenge each other if they feel that they are right. If the issue cannot be resolved, they bring it before the teacher and that is where the educator can determine the logic of the students. Collaborative learning is also a direct result of peer review as students can also recognize the errors in their ways and learn from their peers.
Game-based learning was all the hype a decade ago, but it has stood the test of time. Gamification has developed from radical learning theory to research-based learning methods. The online schooling environment is conducive to using gamification to monitor learning progress, especially if there are social elements involved.
Most people enjoy a healthy bout of competition and thrive when they are competing against their peers. When learning material and tasks are formulated in a way that promotes competition, students push each other to learn more effectively.
Doing individual assessments is great, but if you want to keep a finger on the pulse, you really need a tracking suite. SpedTrack is student progress software at its best. There are several tools that educators can use to evaluate whether their students are on the right path or not.
What sets the software apart from others is the predictive graphing that tracks not only current progress but also provides a trajectory of where the student is potentially heading. Students can be measured against a baseline and you could compare their efforts and skill against this baseline on a single graph.
Furthermore, the software detects possible danger areas that allow educators to address the issue before it is too late.