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Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

EDUC 580: Methods Of Effective Academic Evaluation

Course Description

A study of formative, placement, diagnostic and summative evaluation. Emphasis is on the development, administration, interpretation and utilization of informal, teacher-made evaluation measures, to include paper-pencil and observation instruments. These measures may be norm-referenced, criterion-referenced or learner-referenced. Additionally, students learn to read and interpret formal assessment data produced by either parametric or nonparametric statistics. 

Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and admission to the Teacher Certification Program or full MAT or M.Ed. status.

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Kubiszyn, T. and Borich, G. . (2015). Educational Testing and Measurement: Classroom Application and Practice (11th). NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
    • [ISBN-978-1-119-23915-4]
  • Chappuis, J. and Stiggins, R. (2017). An Introduction to Student-Involved Assessment for Learning (7th). Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson.
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-445026-1]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course is designed to help you develop your skills in assessment.  We will look at why we assess, how to create good assessments, and how to evaluate the assessments themselves. We begin by clarifying exactly what an assessment is, and what it is not.   There are many different ways to assess learning, some of which are at the classroom level and some at the district, state, and national level; some of which are meant to evaluate individuals; some of which are meant to compare groups of students; and so on.  We will take a look at all of that, and consider when it’s most appropriate to use each type of assessment. 

A significant goal of this course is to teach you to write good tests.  This is a challenging task, but one you will be prepared to do by the time you’re done with your course.  Some assessments simply make more sense when it involves a performance, but what about less obvious skills and abilities, like those we assess most often in classrooms?  You will meet the challenge of incorporating a performance-based assessment into your Classroom Assessment Project. 

We will also look at grades and evaluating grading systems, as well as standardized tests.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Applies knowledge of the theory of learning in all aspects of instructional design.
  2. Recognizes diversity and the impact it has on education.
  3. Can plan learning activities to address students’ prior experiences, learning styles, multiple intelligences, strengths, and needs in order to positively impact learning
  4. Demonstrates an understanding that instruction should be connected to students’ prior experiences and family, culture, and community.
  5. Understands the components and organization of an effective curriculum, is able to create aligned learning experiences, can locate national and state standards, and is able to align them to learning outcomes.
  6. Understands how to select appropriate strategies for addressing individual student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  7. Understands the concept of differentiated instruction and short- and long-term instructional goal planning to address student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  8. Demonstrates knowledge of research-based models of critical thinking and problem- solving, including various types of instructional strategies, to support student engagement in higher level thinking skills.
  9. Understands the importance of and develops the ability to use effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques.
  10. Develops sensitivity to differences in culture, gender, intellectual, and physical ability in classroom communication and in communication with families.
  11. Develops the ability to facilitate learner expression in speaking, writing, listening, and other media ensuring it adheres to district policy.
  12. Has knowledge of the development, use, and analysis of formal and informal assessments.
  13. Describes, explains, and analyzes a variety of self and peer assessment strategies, understands the need to prepare students for the demands of particular assessment formats, can set their own learning goals, and is able to teach students to set learning goals.
  14. Develops a knowledge base of assessment strategies and tools, including how to collect information by observing classroom interactions and using higher order questioning, and uses analysis of the data to determine the effect of class instruction on individual and whole class learning.
  15. Can explain ethical and legal implications of confidentiality of student records and can describe and analyze strategies to communicate student progress to students, families, colleagues, and administrators.
  16. Demonstrates a capacity to engage in a collaborative classroom/department/school data analysis process.
  17. Understands strategies for reflecting on teaching practices to refine their own instructional process in order to promote the growth and learning of students.
  18. Identifies and understands the use of an array of professional learning opportunities including those offered by educator preparation programs, school districts, professional associations, and/or other opportunities for improving student learning.
  19. Is knowledgeable of and demonstrates professional, ethical behavior and is aware of the influence of district policies and school procedures on classroom structure.
  20. Understands school-based systems designed to address the individual needs of students by working with the cooperating teacher/supervisor to engage with the larger professional community across the system to identify and provide needed services to support individual learners.
  21. Recognizes the importance of developing relationships and cooperative partnerships with students’, families and community members to support students’ learning and well-being.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 540-600 90-100%
B 480-539 80-89%
C 420-479 70-79%
F 0-419 0-69%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (16) 240 40%
Dropboxes (5) 330 55%
Quiz (1) 30 5%
Total 600 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 0 Thursday
Discussion 1 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 2 15
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 4 15
Validity and Reliability Quiz 30 Saturday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 6 15
Dropbox Assignment 1 50 Saturday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 8 15
Dropbox Assignment 2 80 Saturday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 9 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 10 15
Dropbox Assignment 3 50 Saturday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 11 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 12 15
Dropbox Assignment 4 50 Saturday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 13 15 Thursday/Saturday
Dropbox Assignment 5 100 Saturday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 14 15 Thursday/Saturday
Discussion 15 15
Discussion 16 15
Total Points 600

Assignment Overview

Discussions

There is a non-graded introduction discussion (due Thursday 11:59 p.m. CT of Week 1) and sixteen (16) graded discussion posts in the course. Each week, you will engage in 1-3 required discussion topics. You will be expected to submit an initial post and respond to posts by at least one of your classmates. The initial posts are due on Thursday by 11:59 p.m. CT whereas response posts are due on Saturday by 11:59 p.m. CT of each assigned week. The Initial Posts should be a minimum of 300 words. This is worth 10 points. The response to at least one classmate’s post must be of minimum 100 words and is worth 5 points.

Dropbox Assignments

There are five Dropbox assignments in the course comprising three classroom assessments, a final project, and an item analysis. The classroom assessment is a series of three assignments that will build upon one another, culminating in your final project.  Examples will be provided to show possible ways to construct your project

Classroom Assessment 1: Learning Objectives and Test Blueprint

This begins your Classroom Assessment Project.  You will develop learning objectives for a test, focusing on a specific grade level, subject, and content area.

You must identify the grade, subject, and topic for their assessment project. You must create three objectives and a test blue print. It is worth 50 points and due in the Dropbox on Saturday during Week 3 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Classroom Assessment 2: Test Items

Next you will develop objective and essay test items for the learning objectives you created in the previous assignment.

Students will use the feedback from the previous assignment to construct four test items for each objective; a true-false item, a matching item (with at least four items in each list), a multiple choice item (with at least four answer options) and a completion item.

You should include clear instructions and identify the correct answer. List the Bloom’s Taxonomy level that correlates to each question. Write one essay item that relates to one or more objectives. This is worth 80 points and due in the Dropbox on Saturday during week 4 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Classroom Assessment 3: Performance-Based Assessment

Teachers often struggle to find ways to assess traditional classroom content using performance-based assessment.  With this assignment you will face that challenge.

Create a performance-based assessment. This should align with a previous objective, or a new one can be used as long as it fits within the grade level and topic. Write in student-friendly language as if it were given to the student. Create a checklist, holistic rubric, or analytic rubric that aligns with the performance-based assessment instructions and objective. This is worth 50 points and due in the Dropbox on Saturday during Week 5 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Classroom Assessment 4: Item Analysis

This is a time-consuming process, but one that is very important if you want to actually write good assessments.  Again, with this assignment you will face that challenge.

Analyze test data and calculate difficulty and discrimination index for each question. Determine the effectiveness of the questions, identifying the problematic test items, and explain why they are problematic. Make recommendations on what the teacher can do to address learning deficiencies that were apparent from these results. This is worth 50 points and due in the Dropbox on Saturday during Week 6 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Final Project

Your final project will be the culmination of your previous Classroom Assessment assignments, including their revisions.  It will include the grade level and subject, an updated blueprint reflecting the actual number of questions and their proper Bloom’s levels, eight selected-response questions with answers and Bloom’s levels, and objectives, one essay question with answer description, Bloom’s level, and objective and finally one performance-based assessment with rubric and Bloom’s level, and objective.  This is worth 100 points and due in the Dropbox on Saturday during Week 7 at 11:59 p.m. CT.


Validity and Reliability Quiz

The quiz consist of 10 multiple choice and fill in the blank type questions. It is an open-book and non-proctored quiz. It opens during Week 2 on Monday 12:01 a.m. CT and is due by Saturday by 11:59 p.m. CT of the same week and it has no time limit. You can make up all missed points by submitting corrections on missed questions to the Dropbox. Any applicable corrections are due by Saturday of Week 2 at 11:59 p.m. CT.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: What are some major issues surrounding assessments in schools?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  • Chapter 1

Additional readings can be found under the Week 1 Instructional Materials in the Content area of the course.

Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself and be sure to include your current job position and any personal information that you are willing to share to help us know you better.

Discussion 1

Think of an assessment experience from your personal educational past that was a GOOD experience for you. What made it a productive experience?  Then think of one that was a BAD experience for you. What made it a counterproductive experience? How do those differences relate to the standards of sound classroom assessment practice described in Chapter 1 of the Stiggins and Chappuis text?

Discussion 2

Using your own experiences and details from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 from the Kubiszyn and Borich textbook, why do you feel high-stakes tests are so prevalent in U.S. schools? What effects do these have on teachers and classrooms? What do you recommend teachers do to help their students deal with high-stakes testing?

Week 2: How do I know my tests are valid and reliable?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 14
  • Chapter 16
Discussion 3

Consider the scenario with Mrs. Norton presented in the Kubiszyn & Borich text. If you are currently teaching in a K-12 classroom, consider your own subject area. What are some examples that illustrate mismatches between what is being tested and how it is being tested? If you are NOT currently teaching in a K-12 classroom and have never taught in your subject area, consider an experience from your own education. Have you experienced a mismatch between what was being tested and how it was being tested?

Discussion 4

Scores from NRTs help you make comparisons and generalizations, but they do not necessarily help you work with an individual child. Why is that?  How might a CRT be more useful when evaluating an individual?

Validity and Reliability Quiz

You will have 10 multiple choice and fill in the blank type questions. The quiz is meant to ensure you understand the concepts, hence, you are allowed and encouraged to use your book. You also have the opportunity to submit corrections for the items you missed. If you submit corrections, you must provide a thorough explanation for the correct answer. You need to explain why you know that the answer you submitted is incorrect. If you choose to make these corrections, submit them in either a Microsoft Word or .rtf file to the Validity and Reliability Quiz Dropbox. The corrections are due by 11.59 p.m. CT, Saturday, same as the quiz. This means you might not want to put this one off until late Saturday night.

Week 3: How do we plan good assessments?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 6

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
Discussion 5

At this point in your education you should be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy for the cognitive domain (but just in case, a nice review is provided in the Kubiszyn & Borich text).  But what about the affective and psychomotor domains?  You may feel that most of your responsibility as a teacher lies in teaching the academic curriculum, but most teaching standards include a focus on the physical and social/emotional development of students as well.  That is the focus of the affective and psychomotor domains.  Chappuis and Stiggins book refers to the affective domain as “dispositions.”

Choose one behavior from each of these domains (one from affective and one from psychomotor) and briefly describe an example of how you might assess development in that particular area.  Be sure to state the grade level and content area from which your examples come.  Or for those of you pursuing the MAT but not intending to teach in the K-12 classroom, state the content area (e.g., nursing) and at what point in these individuals’ careers or lives they would be learning this content. Then, discuss why Stiggins believes a focus on student dispositions is so important.

Discussion 6

Teachers base their own learning objectives off state standards. The tough part is that state standards can be hard to translate into objectives. For this discussion, select a state standard in your subject area, explain the learning targets that are within that standard, and then list student “I Can” statements. Use the example in Chappuis and Stiggins on pg. 69.

Dropbox Assignment 1

Classroom Assessment 1: Learning Objectives and Test Blueprint

You’ll start your classroom project by writing learning objectives and develop a test blueprint.  Specifically you should:

  1. Begin by stating the grade level, subject, and specific content area you plan to assess. 
  2. Write three learning objectives that address that content area.  Remember to include all three parts of the objective, as described by Kubiszyn & Borich – conditions, outcome, and criteria.
  3. Develop a test blueprint.  Use the examples in chapter six of the K&B text as your guide.  You will eventually write a total of 12 test items plus an essay item and a performance assessment, so be sure 14 total items are represented in your blueprint. It’s okay if you end up moving things around for your final project.

Keep in mind that this will be the foundation for your final project so, choose your grade level, subject, and content area wisely.

 Also note that in the next assignment, you will write for each objective:

  1. A true-false item
  2. A matching item (with at least four items in each list)
  3. A multiple choice item (with at least four answer options), and
  4. A completion item
Week 4: How do we write good test items?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
Discussion 7

Consider the discussion in Kubiszyn & Borich over gender and racial bias in test items. What are some ways that these or other biases could appear in test questions within your subject area? If you’re not currently a teacher, consider the test topic for your own assessment project subject. What are ways that teachers can help minimize these biases from appearing on a test?

Discussion 8

The Kubiszyn & Borich text lists some general essay scoring suggestions, the first of which is “write good essay items.” , the same guideline applies to scoring any kind of test – you need to start with something that is well-written. After writing your test items for this week’s assignment, share in this thread what it was like for you to complete this assignment. What were the challenges?  Did you discover anything you could be doing better in your own classroom, and anything you were already doing “right”?

Note: Because this should take place after your assignment is complete, both the response to me and response to a classmate is not due until Saturday night. Still, try to post your response as early as possible to give students a chance to respond.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Classroom Assessment 2: Test Items

Now that you’ve written your objectives and planned out your test with your blueprint, you’ll construct your questions.

For each objective, you’ll write: (1) a true-false item, (2) a matching item (with at least four items in each list), (3) a multiple choice item (with at least four answer options), and (4) A completion item

These are the steps:

  1. Start with your first objective (including all revisions from the previous assignment) and write your four test items.
  2. Follow the test writing guidelines from the textbooks and include clear instructions and the correct answer.
  3. List the correct Bloom’s Taxonomy level that correlates to the question.
  4. Continue this for the other objectives.
  5. Finally, write one essay item that either relates to one particular objective or that incorporates any number of your objectives.
You do not need to provide a correct answer, but do include notes on what information you’ll be looking for in a correct response. Also, list the proper objective that aligns with your essay question and the correct Bloom’s level. In total you should have 13 items.
Week 5: How do we create effective performance-based assessments?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 9

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  •  Chapter 7
Discussion 9

Imagine that you have just finished scoring a students’ performance-based assessment and noted much room for improvement. Upon receiving the grade or evaluation, however, the student disagrees with your assessment and questions its validity because it’s “just your opinion.” What types of issues might you bring up in your defense? 

Discussion 10

The authors of your two textbooks are not necessarily at odds with one another, but they do take a different approach to assessment.  Performance-based assessment, however, is an area they both agree can be a tool not only for assessment but for instruction. Explain how this is so.

Dropbox Assignment 3

Classroom Assessment 3: Performance-Based Assessment

For this, you will create the last part of your assessment project. Keeping the same objectives in mind*, construct an aligned performance assessment with clear student instructions and a rubric. Similar to the other questions, include the correct level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

 *If you find that you cannot create a performance assessment aligned to a previous objective, you can create a new one. Also, feel free to use multiple objectives to align with this assessment.

The performance-based assessment should be written in student friendly language and appear as if it were given to the student.

Create a checklist, holistic rubric, or analytic rubric that aligns with the performance-based assessment instructions and objective.
Week 6: How do we analyze test results?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 11
Discussion 11

In the Content section of the course you will find the test information you need to complete this particular discussion.  You should begin by looking at the test items provided.  Think critically about their quality.  Then, take a look at the information provided in the Test Instructions, paying particular attention to the item analysis information. Based on what you have learned about writing good tests, and the information provided in Kubiszyn & Borich chapter 11, what do you think of these test items? What issues or concerns do you have about how they are written? Be very specific about which items are problematic and why! 

Discussion 12

Item analysis is a tedious process. Is it actually worth the effort? After completing the Item Analysis Assignment, share your experience and thoughts on this process.

Dropbox Assignment 4

Item Analysis Assignment:

Using the information provided in the “Item Analysis Test Questions” pdf file, calculate the difficulty and discrimination indexes for each test question (the highlighted blue cells).  You’ll note that they are already calculated for Question 1. You can practice with Question 1 and make sure you find the same answers as the ones provided.

Refer to the Dropbox Assignment 4 description in the Week 6 Content Area for guidance on how to organize your answers in a table.

Then consider what these numbers tell you about each of the items.  Which items stand out to you as problematic, and why? Be sure to look at the actual test item as well as the data used to make the calculation as you formulate your explanation.  In other words, your explanation should go beyond simply saying, “K & B said difficulty indexes should be within such and such range and this one is not in that range”.  That might may be true but, so what? What does the data tell you about why that particular item scored the way it did?

For example, you might look at Question 1 and determine that the difficulty index is fairly high because out of 26 students, 20 of them got the item right.  Given those numbers, one might assume the item would have a high difficulty index (i.e., it’s fairly easy). But also look at the item itself.  Although you may not be immediately familiar with the content of the exam, you might still note aspects of the item that could pertain or contribute to its indexes. If you do, include that in your explanation as well. Finally, consider the item analysis data including what answers the students selected. What does that information tell you about why questions might or might not be problematic?

Submit your calculations and responses to the Dropbox.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: What do grades represent?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 12

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  • Chapter 11
Discussion 13

In the reading for this week, you’ve encountered discussions about ways that grades could be computed. Some of these ways are probably similar to what you remember experiencing as a student, while others might seem very different. Considering the issues we’ve discussed throughout the course, answer these questions:

  • What do you think grades should represent?
  • How is this different from what you have seen in classrooms, either as a teacher or as a student?
Dropbox Assignment 5

Final Project

For this culminating project, you will submit a final version of your assessment. It should reflect the feedback from the previous assignments and form a well-aligned, technically accurate assessment with the following components:

Your grade level and content.

  1. An updated blueprint reflecting the actual number of questions and final learning targets.
  2. Eight selected-response and short answer questions with answers and objectives.*
  3. Your essay question with information you’re looking for in a correct response and learning target.
  4. Your performance assessment with rubric and learning target(s).

*Do not submit all 12 questions. You will only revise and turn in 8.

Week 8: : How can assessment results be communicated effectively?
Readings

Kubiszyn and Borich:

  • Chapter 19

Chappuis and Stiggins:

  • Chapter 12
Discussion 14

In Chapter 19 Kubiszyn & Borich discuss at length the challenges of interpreting standardized test scores. If you can’t interpret standardized test scores, you run a big risk of miscommunication, a risk that can hurt students, parents, and you.  Even if you are not a current K-12 teacher, it’s important to think about the subtleties in interpretation of data. This discussion will help you to do that.

Although there are many types of test scores, we’ll choose just one type to focus on here for the sake of practice.

Consider this scenario:  A parent comes to you angry because his fourth grade daughter has poor grades in math when her scores on standardized tests indicate that she is at the seventh grade level. What would you tell him first about the relationship between standardized test scores and actual grades? How would you explain why his daughter, in spite of her standardized test scores, may not actually be ready for math at the seventh grade level?

Discussion 15

In Chapter 12, Chappuis and Stiggins discuss four approaches to student conferences: feedback, goal-setting, achievement, and intervention conferences. Choose one of those approaches and describe how that approach to a conference could benefit students within your content area.

Discussion 16

Discuss what you learned from the course and how you will use the information in the future.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late dropbox assignments will be accepted up to 1 week past the due date, but a 10% penalty will be imposed per day that the assignment is late. After 1 week, no late assignments will be accepted.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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