In a recent letter from PSU Provost Robert Pangborn, faculty were alerted to a new regulation related to federal student aid and reporting the last day that a failing student participated in an academically related activity in a course. In the case of online courses, “academically related activity” must include substantive interaction/participation in the course - not simply logging in to the course. To ensure that faculty teaching online courses do not have any problems related to this regulation in the future, we highly recommend integrating at least one academically related activity each week. This does not necessarily mean that all of these activities need to be graded, but the students should have to engage in an activity each week. These activities can be anything that can be tracked in ANGEL/Canvas or in another system. Some examples are discussions, low stakes quizzes, tutorials, online activities, labs, etc. As you begin to think about how you plan to assess your students' learning and competency, the following questions may help guide you:
- Are you assessing student learning and competence for each lesson or ensuring daily interaction in a different way?
- Are you using quizzes, exams, group discussions, activities, labs, papers, projects or something else to assess your students’ learning and competency?
- How many gradable assessments do you want students to complete for the semester?
- Will you hand-grade the assessments or use ANGEL/Canvas to create and grade them for you?
- Are you using ANGEL/Canvas to develop your assessment instruments, or another option? What would you like to be able to do?
- Once you have a list of assessments made, how many points will each to be worth? Will anything be weighted more than anything else (i.e. Exams 60%, Quizzes 30%, and Discussion 10%)?
- Are you giving students an option to earn extra credit?
- Are you using the ANGEL/Canvas Gradebook to keep track of and share grades?