Humanizing Assessment in Online Higher Education

Colin Madland

PhD Student, University of Victoria

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Acknowledging the Land and the People

The University of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Treaty 6 territory and Homeland of the Métis, a traditional gathering place for diverse Indigenous peoples including the Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, Inuit, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to influence our vibrant community.

Additionally, I wish to acknowledge the devastating discovery of 215 residential school children very close to where I was born as an uninvited settler in Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory.



Use the chat to enter a word or three that represents ‘assessment in online higher education’. How would you finish the sentence that begins ‘Assessment is…’?

Assessment is a process of reasoning from evidence.

(National Research Council, 2001)

Assessment Triangle

Validity and Reliability

High-stakes decisions (all grading decisions, really) should have a minimum reliability (co-efficient alpha, formerly known as Cronbach’s alpha) of .08.

Assessment as Measurement

You get what you measure. ~ Dr. Phil Laird


The Problem with Percentages

Humanizing Assessment

Think +1…

  • reduced confidence in ‘grades’
  • fewer categories of achievement
  • more flexibility
  • ask learners
  • Trust. Learners.
  • more equity

Grading for Equity

Literature Sources

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