The role of authentic assessment in online literature courses
Gergana V. Adams, Capella University, United States
Capella University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of faculty who develop and teach online literature courses in community colleges. The focus was on use of authentic assessment strategies. This research followed a phenomenological approach that gathered qualitative data from several cases through the use of semi-structured interviews that followed an established interview protocol. The study aimed for a purposeful sample that could produce in-depth, descriptive data. The participants for this study consisted of eight North Carolina community college faculty who develop and facilitate online literature courses. The findings of the study indicated that while most participants were unfamiliar with the term authentic assessment, their understanding of the term was consistent with its definition. The first main finding of the study was that the online discussion was the most used and viewed as most effective in online literature courses. The second main finding was that participants thought online discussions allowed for dynamic social interaction, critical thinking, analysis, reflection and exposure to opposing viewpoints. All participants considered the online discussion an authentic assessment strategy that was most widely used and most effective in online literature courses. This study was intended for faculty and instructional designers who design, develop, or facilitate online courses associated with higher education. The results of the study cannot be generalized to the entire filed of higher education since the study involved only eight participants and statistical data was not produced. They will assist community college instructor in developing assessment strategies for online classes that promote critical thinking, encourage reflection, and allow exposure to contrasting points of view.
Adams, G.V. The role of authentic assessment in online literature courses. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University.
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