"Where on this weather map do you expect it's going to rain today?" Dr. Perry Samson asks the 200 students in his introductory class on extreme weather. Almost instantly, dots begin to appear on the displayed map, as students indicate their answers through their wireless laptops. In moments, a clear pattern emerges on the classroom display as Samson continues the lecture.
Students at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX are using a customized student assessment application, SHSU Academic Coach from Profiles International's Educational Service Division, to help them choose the most suitable degree program and gain exposure to careers that are best suited to their talents, strengths, and interests.
Just buying an ePortfolio system doesn't guarantee you're going to get the most out of assessment. Better assessment isn't automatically achieved by using new digital methods--it will probably take another approach to assessment as well. The place to start reassessing your assessment strategies may be in trying to capture what learning means to the students.
CTB/McGraw-Hill (a unit of McGraw-Hill Education) has released Acuity UnWired, a new tool that allows the company's Acuity InFormative Assessment to integrate with interactive classroom response systems (also knows as classroom clickers). The announcement was made at this week's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC.
Lifelong learning and swirling are two things we hear about as learning moves back into to the "real world." Yet the picture is not simple as institutions and learners work out trust issues and change long-held habits and beliefs along with their technology tools.
"It used to be difficult to gauge students' prior knowledge," according to biology professor Peter Coppinger, who teaches at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. "But now, I can ask a question pertaining to the day's lecture material, get a response, and--right there--I can assess whether to slow down and cover [something] in great detail, or do a cursory overview and go on."
Scantron has released an update to Class Climate, its course evaluation system designed for higher education. The new version sports new customization options, tracking, and batch management capabilities, among other new features.
Moodle has released an update to its open source learning management system. Moodle 1.9.5 adds a number of gradebook improvements, new administration features, and several security enhancements. Moodle has also released an update to the 1.8 branch, version 1.8.9, which includes several fixes and security improvements.
Ed tech developer SoftChalk has released SoftChalk V5, an update to the company's authoring suite for instructional content.
ePortfolios today are largely institutional reporting tools--assessment management applications. A new professional organization, called AAEEBL, aims to address two additional areas with ePortfolios.