Pooling Knowledge for Rapid Response: Covid-19 Prompted a Network of Research Universities to Share Best Practices for Assessing Student Learning Online

Thursday 12:40 pm – 1:05 pm PT / 1:40 pm – 2:05 pm MT / 2:40 pm – 3:05 pm CT / 3:40 pm – 4:05 pm ET Online
Concurrent Session

Joshua Potter, University of Kansas Main Campus
Linda Slakey, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Doug James, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The sudden and wholesale shift in March 2020 away from brick-and-mortar classrooms and toward hybrid and online teaching due to the pandemic was experienced by most faculty as a crisis moment. For many faculty developers, change agents, and scholars of instructional design it was also a teachable moment. How might they rapidly develop and deploy practical guidance for instructors who were struggling, while at the same time leveraging the opportunity created by the pandemic to introduce these same instructors to evidence-based methods they could productively draw on well past the time Covid-19 had run its course? The Bay View Alliance – an international network of research institutions dedicated to the study and improvement of student learning – adopted a strategy that leaned heavily on relationships already developed among trusted colleagues: it asked each of its 10 member campuses to provide examples of best practices in remote and online assessment of student learning, and then distilled from these examples a set of succinct principles for good practice. Additionally, the new resource included a gallery of faculty narratives and examples, and linked resources from each member campus. This session will provide examples of how these materials are now being used to shape teaching and assessment on member campuses, and, drawing on a study at the University of Kansas, provide suggestive evidence of their impact on faculty attitudes and practices. For instance, faculty participants reported being less concerned about students' propensity to cheat on large assignments or exams, and were instead more interested in topics such as scaffolded learning, authentic assignments, and equity. Perhaps most encouraging were several stories of instructors arriving at a new method, task, or tool for a course that they intended to continue using when back to in-person instruction in future semesters.