Online Readiness Assessment
There is a rumor out there that the new generation of students is very tech savvy, and this may be true for programming their phones or playing guitar hero, but the skill set for online learning still needs to be taught, especially for students who have not taken online courses before, or for students new to college expectations. To help students understand what they are getting into, and to help them practice the skills they need before the course gets started, it is helpful to have a set of excises that lead students through the technology skills required for the course as an introduction to the course. These exercises can use as content the pre-requisite knowledge the instructor expects to student to already know or to have recently reviewed. This way the student gets ready for the technology and the course content at the same time.
The Online Readiness Assessment Module
Here are some basic skills that an Online Readiness Assessment Module might cover
- Sending email with an attachment.
- Logging into and navigating the course management software (at UC, this would be Blackboard)
- Using the Discussion Board, Blogs, and/or Journal functions in the course software
- Using the Assignment Manager and/or SafeAssign
- Finding specific information on the web
- Locating and using library databases
- Knowing how to use the document formatting required by the course (i.e. APA, MLA, CMS, CSS, AMA, etc)
- Here is a website with a prezi presentation and further examples from the April 1st, GCCCU Conference on Online Teaching.
Make Your Own Assessment
- List the expected skills required for basic success in your course.
- List the expected knowledge you expect students have, and which you will not be teaching, in order to be successful in the course. (This could include content knowledge from pre-requisite courses)
- For specific items of content knowledge, match them with an expected technology skill you want the student to be familiar with, and ask the student to communicate that knowledge using that technology skill.
- Be ready to give feedback if the student completes the assignment incorrectly.
- Be ready to have references for students to consult if they need to review the information they should know and which you will not be teaching.
- Provide tutorials for skills students may need to learn or review.