What is it?
While assignments are a well-known assessment activity, having your students submit an assignment through the LMS allows additional options and flexibility. Firstly, it allows you to manage the submissions effectively as all assignments are stored in one place. It is also easy to quickly track which students did not submit the assignment. Secondly, in addition to text-based submissions, audio and/ or video submissions are possible which is especially useful in some disciplines. Since the assignment instructions are also uploaded to the LMS and need not be printed which saves printing costs for the department. Further costs are saved if the assignments are marked with a rubric online, which, in most LMSs, form part of the assignment tool.
How to use it?
Here are some ideas for using online assignments as part of your overall assessment strategy:
- Essay: There are various types of essays (including descriptive, narrative, and critical essays) but mainly you will require your students to write an essay to convey their understanding of a topic.
- Case study: A detailed, in-depth exploration of a phenomenon.
Annotated Bibliography: A brief summary of a list of references together with an unbiased opinion of the credibility of the author and/ or source, as well as an evaluation of the usefulness of the source for a particular research project or task.
- Reflection: Reflection is an important part of learning. You can require your students to reflect at different times throughout a course through a reflective journal that can be submitted as an assignment or a number of assignments. Some LMSs (like Blackboard) also has a specific tool for the submission of journals that can be used instead of the regular assignment tool.
- Poster: Posters require students to communicate their understanding of an idea in a concise and creative way. There are several user-friendly, free online tools available to students for creating innovative posters (see additional resources). Electronic posters can be submitted as a Word/ PDF document.
- Portfolios: are a good way to allow students to collect and organise samples of work over time (usually the duration of a course). Portfolios can consist of various media (such as images, text documents, short video and/ or audio clips) and submitted as an assignment on the LMS.
Video/ Audio submission: Digital stories or video diaries submitted on the LMS are much easier to manage than having students submit these with a flash drive or CD for instance.