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  • Writer's pictureJames Kerr

Formative Assessment: Online Discussion, Issues in Nuclear Radiation Use

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

I believe that this formative assessment could be a valuable tool to encourage students to provide feedback to peers. I am interested in revising the assessment based on what I am learning about assessment as a process. As assessment is ongoing and involves a partnership between the instructor, students and their peers, I hope to construct productive opportunities for students to participate in the assessment of growth toward established goals. The online discussion assessment is viewed as a supportive tool to foster learning. I do not utilize this aspect of assessment frequently, and I need to grow in my understanding of how to design online opportunities for students to share feedback with peers, and also to facilitate student self evaluation and reflection on progress towards learning goals.

The purpose of this formative assessment is to prepare students to develop, defend, discuss, and write about the uses of nuclear radiation and to provide meaningful feedback to fellow students. Students will participate in a synchronous online discussion, considering both the affordances and threats of nuclear radiation to humanity. The online format will require participants to actively engage in discussion, to consider alternative positions, and to employ supportive evidence for statements posted during the discussion.

To participate fully in the assessment,"Online Discussion, Issues in Nuclear Radiation Use," students will prepare by researching uses for nuclear radiation. Students will keep a log of sites visited and record the benefits and/ or risks associated with the uses of nuclear radiation. Each student will be assigned a specific responsibility to defend a productive aspect or a detrimental aspect for the use of nuclear energy.

A primer list of sites to visit has been provided for the students to use to begin the research process. Based on the research, students will create a short written statement defending their position using the information that has been gathered during the researching process. The students will participate in synchronous online discourse, providing meaningful feedback while carefully considering the views and supportive evidence provided by peers.

Students will receive a 30 point grade for full participation in the group discussion. Full participation is defined by the following guidelines:

1) The student presents an initial statement/ position to be shared with peers. The position is clearly stated in a complete sentence.

2) The student responds with significant feedback to the posts of at least three peer positions.

3) The student demonstrates support for feedback by referencing specific supports from the earlier literature search.

4) Students will submit a Google Doc that includes a list of online sites visited and a written record of pertinent information contained in each site.

Students will utilize their Chomebooks and Google Classroom's Stream to respond to the posted discussion question. Students are familiar with the use of the Stream as a format for online discussion. Students must first post a statement before they can participate in the feedback aspect of the assessment.

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