The design and delivery of effective digitization for formative and summative assessments that are suitable for computer-based exam delivery remains an open problem across engineering curricula. Engineering-specific exam digitization challenges include the need to adequately evaluate design skills, solution structure, intermediate work, creativity, conceptual understanding, and in many cases, rigor that exceed the capabilities of rote multiple choice formats. In our high-enrollment engineering program, we have developed, implemented, and evaluated a six-week cross-disciplinary Assessment Digitization Innovation (ADI) Workshop that supports engineering faculty interest in developing computer-based examinations that are responsive to best practices. Authentic assessment formats and topics of focus include incremental solutions, multiple answers, design-by-selection, declarative statement formats, and question cloning practices. Further, the remediation of computer-based exams using digitized formats also enables new opportunities to enhance learner engagement, metacognition, and soft skills, which are highly amenable to faculty edification and are integral faculty development components of the ADI Workshop.
The first ADI Workshop was conducted during the Summer 2016 semester. The experience included four face-to-face in-class sessions and two online modules. At the end of the 6-week program, each participating instructor showcased an online assessment that they had designed and developed as a result of the workshop. The topics of the pilot program included: 1) strategies to construct effective STEM assessments, 2) using relevant question types and features in Canvas, a learning management system (LMS), 3) implementing authentic assessment, 4) strategies to encourage academic integrity in online assessments, and 5) composing exemplar design vignette questions to reinforce connections between concepts to achieve integrative learning. The pilot cohort included 10 instructors and 16 Graduate Scholar Assistants (GSAs) currently teaching gateway Engineering and Computer Science courses at the University of Central Florida, and interacting with an estimated 6,200 undergraduate Engineering and Computer Science students. Upon conclusion of the program, anonymous feedback was collected from participating instructors, and was overwhelmingly positive. All respondents were “very satisfied” with the in-class sessions, the facilitators of the workshops, and the online modules. Specifically, they rated the program topics, examples, and resources provided to be highly relevant. The majority of the respondents agreed that the workshop will impact their future course design and development in beneficial ways, such as time-savings, convenience, student remediation, and the ability to serve large enrollments.
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