In CEP 813, we have begun to explore a variety of different CMS programs. This week we were tasked with using a CMS of our choice to create an assessment. I chose to create a formative assessment on the use of discussion boards in Canvas.
The purpose of this particular assessment is to give teachers at my school tools that they can explore and then use what they find to transfer the knowledge to their own context/classroom. They do this in two ways. The first is by sharing public ideas of how the discussion board can be utilized in a classroom, and the second is by privately sharing with me where they are and self-assessing themselves in regards to where they are on the Canvas Continuum and what they need to move further.
I am the technology director at my school, which means part of my employ is based around helping teachers use the tools that we have at our school. Canvas is one of the biggest tools that teachers have, and one that the administrators want the teachers to use. With this in mind, I need a way to know where they are so I can help them on their next steps. Discussion boards are the on ramp that I use to get teachers excited about using Canvas, so it seemed logical to start here.
In an earlier project for CEP 813, I came up with a ten criteria rubric that can be used to assess where an assessments strengths and weaknesses may lay. I won’t go through all of those here, but I did want to highlight a few. The first is that the teachers have choice as to which of the links they think applies to them, which hopefully will meet the specific needs of all learners. The teachers are also asked to self assess where they are and where they want to go so that I can provide support as they move toward expert level Canvas usage. They are also required to transfer the use of the discussion boards into their context.
Canvas on Canvas
All of this leads to the inevitable question why use the tool to teach the tool. It always helps to see an example of what you are being asked to do. If I can use Canvas in a way that teachers see it and think that it is useful, then they are much more likely to use it in their own classes. That’s why using Canvas was the best way to teach this information to the teachers.
How can Canvas Help with Assessment
In this case, it is helping me to do a status check. However, you can use Canvas to do end of unit assessments as well. That quiz can have a question bank that would randomize the quiz, so that the students get different questions. You can use the assignments to create projects to assess the student’s knowledge in any area. Canvas is able to adapt to a variety of different assessment media as the teacher has need.
Below you will find a video explaining this particular assessment.