In Florida, two new courses will be offered starting Fall 2024 that will use projects to engage students that are non-STEM majors in applications of mathematics. My college wants to adhere to AMATYC's position that proctored and controlled assessments should comprise a meaningful portion (50% or more) of the course grade.
Does anyone have suggestions as to how projects can be "proctored and/or controlled", especially in an asynchronous online environment?
Thanks for posting about this. It is an area that I am currently exploring.
In both my statistics course and my Quantitative Reasoning course, I am using project-oriented assessment. The statistics course is presented as an asynchronous environment, while the QR course has some in-person meetings. For controlled assessment, I require each student to schedule two synchronous interview times with me during the term. I have about 65 students registered per term, with maybe 45 completing the projects, and I teach a reduced load, so this works for me. I have a lot of flexibility with my time, and I spend 30 minutes per student.
During the interviews, I give them a new scenario, and ask them to use the techniques from the project to analyze the new scenario. I don't focus on specific correct answers, but I focus on investigating their learning process, and their broader conceptual understanding. If a student shows significant areas where they are missing important concepts, then I require an additional interview to address those things. That is seldom necessary, since most students who are missing such things are not fully engaged with the course.
There are two related issues that come with these interviews. Students who are on a track to transfer to a four-year college have a bit more background in math, compared to the standard associate's degree program students. I think it's a bit easier for the former to have confidence about being in an interview. However, students in non-STEM tracks may have more negative experiences with math, which can create a lot of anxiety around the interview process. It takes effort on my part, and on their part, in and out of the classroom, to create a positive relationship that is the basis for good communication.
My perspective is that 30 minutes for two meetings in a term is not an excessive synchronous commitment for an asynchronous course. Your situation may not be the same.
I would be happy to answer any questions regarding my experience.
This is about MGF1130 and MGF1131, right? We are in the same boat. I have already been doing project based assessments in MGF1107. However, my classes are face to face. There is one peer teaching that I assign to students (could be individual or in a small group) that is worth a test grade. They must teach a section from the textbook, which was not yet covered (usually Voting Math). There is a rubric attached to their execution of the lesson. I assume this can be done via video for an online class. So, proctored here would imply that the student themself would record their part. Or maybe there is a synchronous session for their presentation, to allow Q&A.
I am worried that some online students are not doing the work - they are outsourcing it. Hence, proctoring or authenticating their submission seems necessary.
This is a great post with insightful feedback. I love all the ideas that have been shared so far. During my two years at IBM abroad I got certified in project management and learned about milestone setting. I use this technique for all my projects in onsite and online courses.
Iryna - you make a good point saying that structured milestones allow you to monitor the students' progress and provide feedback along the way. Relating to my own experiences, I would like to add that check points also keep the professor organized with an increased workload often found in project-based courses. This is especially true when projects are longer than four weeks eventually spanning an entire semester. I have attached a milestone file that I have successfully used for a globally oriented project in my introductory statistics course (which you may have seen before on this platform). It lays out the project from beginning to end and asks for deliverables at each milestone, whether the work is graded or not, how many points are assigned, and how much time commitment is required.
From a proctoring perspective, I use discussion board postings a lot and also engage my students in the process of giving constructive feedback to their peers. I call this a graded "critiquing session". For example, half way through the project life cycle, each student posts his/her unfinished work on the digital platform (Brightspace in my case) and provides feedback to two of their peers. In return that student will also get feedback from two students. I have found that this is a joyful event for students. For me there are several benefits. First, I see the status of each student project, and if I spot a student whose work is lacking, I take action to help. Second, seeing how far some students have already come with their projects spurs remaining students on to do better. Critiquing helps to improve individual as well as peer performance. Third, students are heavily engaged with their work and each others' comments, which promotes deeper learning and student success.
I also like the idea of having students produce and submit videos of their project work and/or do oral interviews with the professor. I think I may want to try oral assessment that Rick is exploring. The topic of online project assessment is very important but not well substantiated. So, I was thinking about a webinar. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think we need further education and training on this topic?
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