As an online instructor it is important to understand how to create student-centered learning objectives that allow for a higher level of learning according to Bloom's taxonomy. It is also important to know how to assess that learning has occurred in an online classroom. There are numerous technology tools available online to enhance activities and collaboration efforts that can be used to assess whether the learning objective was achieved.
I teach Introductory Biology at a mid-western community college. It covers everything from molecules and molecular bonding to ecology and conservation biology. There is a lot of information presented over a 16 week semester. Each week is comprised of a single module covering at least one chapter of the textbook. The student body in this class is very diverse. They are farmers. They are military. They are stay-at-home parents. They are kids just out of high school. They are grandparents. They are full time students. They work full time. Some of them still don't know what they want to do after they graduate and others know what they want to do or have a job lined up after graduation. A lot of them are working on Associate's degrees, and some plan to transfer to another institution to complete a Bachelor's degree.
Here I present the learning objectives, activities, and methods of assessment for a module on evolution as an example of how I utilize online tools to aid assessment in online courses. I chose to use the module on evolution as an example module for my assessment activities because the concepts covered in this chapter can be hard for students to grasp and require a lot of deep thought to fully comprehend. I emphasize project-based learning in class to help them understand the concepts at a higher level of Bloom's taxonomy. This method of assessment also requires creativity, collaboration, and communication - all skills that are important to employers today, though severely lacking in prospective employees, and thus important for my students to be able to display proudly on their resumes (Levin-Goldberg, 2012). The learning objectives I provide in this module require students to actively participate in creating images to depict what they have learned, explain concepts in a simple manner to children on ePals, collaborate on a chapter review with classmates, and then review their contribution and the contribution of others to the chapter review.
Levin-Goldberg, J. (2012, April). "Redefining, Reinventing, and Rebuilding Schools for the 21st Century." Retrieved February 6, 2015, from http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2188348