During the WinterFest event in January, the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and ITS Training Services offered a Designing Assessments Series that the two groups had created. Developed and presented by Lisa Urban, IT training specialist with ITS Training Services, and Crystal Ramsay, research associate and instructional consultant with the Schreyer Institute, the series of four online classes aimed to contextualize the “how-to” of building an assessment in ANGEL in a larger pedagogical framework.

Now, sixth months later, we are gearing up to offer the special series again, this time as part of the SummerFest event – a back-to-school event for faculty, instructors, and graduate students providing online technology training on the Penn State tools used for teaching and learning. The event takes place the week before classes begin, giving participants the opportunity to brush up on ANGEL skills, learn gradebook tools, prepare surveys in Qualtrics and more, making it the perfect transition back into school mode.

The series steps back to look at best practices of and best thinking behind creating assessments and then goes on to show how to build them in ANGEL and measure their effectiveness. “This is an effort to expand the ‘how to’ of creating an assessment in ANGEL, and incorporating the ‘why,’” said Ramsay, co-creator of the series. “It is an effort to combine what we know from research and pedagogy with respect to assessments combined with a very powerful ANGEL assessment tool.” Ramsay added, “This series is designed to be hands-on and people will be asked to think about assessment in their own context.”

After the series in January, several participants reached out to express their satisfaction with the sessions. “I’ve attended A LOT of webinars, and these have been the BEST!” attendee Carol McQuiggan shared with us afterward. Robin Yaure, who attended the Overview of Best Thinking and Best Practices session, also remarked, “I have been teaching at Penn State for 25 years and am always on the lookout for ways to improve what I do. The training session, “Assessments: Overview of Best Thinking and Best Practices,” was informative and gave me a lot of new ideas about what I can do to improve my use of tests and other assessments in all of my classes. I appreciated that it was online so it was convenient and easy to attend. The instructor was knowledgeable and had lots of great examples.”

You can sign up to attend any one or more of the Designing Assessments Series sessions in the section below, meaning that you can pick and choose the ones the ones you want or sign up for the entire series. Simply click on the course title below to register. You will be prompted to log in to the registration system and will then be able to sign up for the course.

We hope that you’ll join us for this great series during SummerFest and that it will help you feel as prepared as ever for the start of the school year!

Assessments: Overview of Best Thinking and Best Practices (via Meeting@PennState powered by Adobe Connect)
Tuesday, August 19 from 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. via web

Assessments: Best Practices for Developing Effective Multiple Choice Tests (via Meeting@PennState powered by Adobe Connect)
Tuesday, August 19 from 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. via web

ANGEL: Using ANGEL’s Assessments to Improve Teaching and Learning (via Meeting@PennState powered by Adobe Connect)
Wednesday, August 20 from 10:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. via web

Assessments: Improving Multiple Choice Tests through Item Analysis (via Meeting@PennState powered by Adobe Connect)
Wednesday, August 20 from 12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. via web

To see a full list of the free sessions being offered during SummerFest, visit: http://ittraining.psu.edu/2014/06/summerfest-ii-is-the-perfect-back-to-school-event/

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