eFACT: Formative Assessment Of Classroom Teaching For Online Classes

Samantha PENNEY

As online degrees and programs increase in number and popularity so does the need for excellence and quality in the programs and courses offered. Becoming more scholarly in online course delivery, especially in the evaluation or assessment of those classes is essential for teaching and learning. This paper explores the pilot of an evaluation of student learning through anonymous feedback at mid-semester in seven online courses. Electronic Formative Assessment of Classroom Teaching (eFACT) is a process of gathering anonymous student feedback through a faculty consultant using e-mail. This process gives the online instructor the opportunity to make changes to the delivery of the course while the class is in session. Instructors felt they gained useful and meaningful information and were able to make changes in their delivery format midway through the semester. Student learning was helped through the use of online features that made the class more social and interactive. Perceived or real communication issues with the instructor and classmates hindered student learning. Although often citing the “nature” of online learning, the social aspect of learning seemed to be missing for many students. Assessments measures like eFACT can elicit detailed perceptions of student learning while the class is in session. It can affect the quality of the delivery method of the course by giving instructors immediate feedback as students reflect on their learning midway through the course.

KEYWORDS: Distance Education, Assessment, Student Evaluations