Follow Up Friday

June 23, 2023

Formative assessments are another effective ways of helping your learners track their progress in your course.

From the Archives:

In addition to keeping grades up to date in Canvas as discussed in Monday’s post, another way to help learners track their progress is to offer them formative assessments. Learn more about formative vs. summative assessments in our post from November

Benefits of Formative Assessments

Juli Charkes, writing for Faculty Focus, identifies the following general benefits of using formative assessments in your course.¹

Emphasize Inclusion

How students approach the content and how you approach it will differ due to the amount of exposure and unique backgrounds you both have. Becoming aware of those differences requires designing opportunities for those differences.

Enhances Metacognition

By capturing the learner’s perspective, you are inviting them to take an active role in guiding how the learning process should go. Prompting them to reflect on their journey of making sense of the new information related to prior knowledge has numerous benefits for mastering the content.

Formative Assessments in Canvas

In an online setting, providing opportunities for formative assessment requires intentional design. As you noticed, some formative assessment only happens in the classroom. However, by deploying Canvas-integrated teaching technology and creating online-focused formative activities, you can still benefit learners and yourself.

  1. Setting aside pages in your modules that learners can edit by selecting “Teachers and students” in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page editing window. Use this option in conjunction with a resource-collecting activity so learners can bring what they know to the course.
  2. Create peer-reviewed assignments and enable the “Requires peer review” option in the assignment editing window. Be sure to create a rubric for your learners to use!
  3. Embed a Google Form to collect survey responses about how the course is going or what could be changed after the first couple of weeks and again before after mid-semester.
  4. Make use of reflection assignments. For learners very new to content, have them reflect and connect the content to their lives. For more advanced learners, have them reflect and connect the content to what they have learned in other courses in the same discipline.
  5. Consider requiring learners to include a question or a comment about the content in their discussion posts.


¹ Charkes, Juli S. “Harnessing the Student Voice: Why Student-centered Teaching and Learning Starts with Formative Assessment.” Last modified July 13, 2022. Faculty Focus Website

Upcoming Events

Quick Hit – Grouping Canvas Assignments

Thursday, June 29, 3:30 – 4:00PM

Grouping assignments can be a great way to add weight to the grades in your courses and adding accommodations to your tests can make them more versatile. Join Clemson Online for a quick look at these topics. We will explain the purpose of both grouping assignments and online testing accommodation and demonstrate how to use them in your course. All of this is in just a 20-minute Quick Hits session!

Facilitated by Axel Ruiz, Sr. Learning Technology Specialist.

Register for Quick Hits: Grouping Canvas Assignments on June 29th .

Design Principles for Learning

Wednesday, July 12, 1:30 – 2:15PM

Design principles can transform how your Canvas site looks and feels and how it communicates information to your students. Join this presentation to learn what design principles you can apply to enhance the impact of your course content. We have tools and resources for you to start applying what you learn in this session.

Facilitated by Casey Pearce, Digital Learning Designer

Register here for Design Principles for Learning on July 12th .

Clemson Online Summer 2023 Events Calendar

Review our Summer 2023 Events Calendar to see what Online Instruction Development opportunities await!

We have a robust Summer lineup of topics and live training formats to support your use of Canvas and other e-learning tools. Topics cover demonstrations of using Kaltura, presentations on inclusive practices for online education, and workshops to get your Canvas site ready to teach!

All of our live training is recorded. Registrants will automatically receive a link to that day’s video after it has been processed.

Contact James Butler with any questions regarding these sessions. 

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