Teaching Tips In The Midst of COVID-19

Online learning during COVID-19
Amidst the pain and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, professors are scrambling to transition their courses online. Here are some tips to ensure that students stay engaged during a time of social distancing.

Restrict cheating/plagiarism cases when you replace in-class exams to take-home examinations.

We understand that under the current circumstances instructors need to find alternative options for administering final exams at the end of the semester. In some cases, final exams can be formatted as multiple choice questions or true/false questions as long as there is a correct answer. We have seen these types of exams administered through online platforms like an LMS, Class Marker and Webassign.

However, for more subjective forms of final assessments such as a written essay, there is no single, clear answer. Taking home written assignments can open the door for the potential of students plagiarizing and/or collaborating to gain unfair advantages over their peers. In the modern virtual classroom, final take-home assignments can take the form of students presenting content through both audio and visual formats. This type of assessment (along with a peer review component) further deters academic dishonesty as students must present and comprehend materials with their own strategy and voice.

Students are given a push to further understand what they have written by narrating their written pieces, such as a monologue, essays, etc. Students can identify sentences that sound strange, or are difficult to make sense by listening back to them, which is a good way to identify whether too much information was derived directly from other texts rather than paraphrasing them.

How Can Kritik Help?

All Kritik assignments are associated with a rubric specifically designed for students to use for anonymous evaluation of their peer's submissions. By adding rubric criteria, students are encouraged and rewarded if they happen to identify any plagiarism while evaluating an activity.

Additionally, it can be easier to identify if one has cheated on the assignment by detecting them by their voice. This can be applicable for smaller classes where the students are familiar with each other. In the case of any bias or misjudgment, professors can oversee all allegations made by other students through Kritik's "dispute" and "flagged comments" features. It provides professors full visibility into any potential red flags raised by peers.

Will student's really identify plagiarism?

Watch here as economics professor Alex Gainer explains how he uses Kritik to hold his students accountable for honesty and integrity. It is interesting to note how far students will go to assist professors in detecting potentially plagiarized material.

Simulating In-Class Presentations

Many courses often rely on class presentations as a significant component of a students final grade. Kritik helps professors transition activities related to presentations into their online courses without having to compromise on the quality and effectiveness of a students work.

Kritik's Solution

Through Kritik's peer-to-peer evaluation platform, professors can maintain the same interactive and collaborative social environments that an in-class presentation holds. Kritik also offers group activities that can easily be tailored for group presentations.

Professors assign projects where students create presentation slides through PowerPoint, and then add audio recordings to combine visual and oral components of a presentation. This can be advantageous for group presentations by allowing everyone to participate.

Can Kritik allow such large submission files?

Yes! Students using Kritik can submit large files of 100MB, providing more than enough storage for large audio, video or presentation files.

Virtual leaders of each group will have the opportunity to submit a PowerPoint presentation for peer evaluation through Kritik. Students can evaluate presentations based on the criteria designed in the rubric for this activity as well as provide critical feedback or questions for future improvements.

What Next? Supporting Higher Education in a time of need:

If you are interested in meeting with an instructional designer to see how you can use Kritik to improve assessments in virtual classes, please follow the link below. In response to COVID-19, Kritik will be offering our platform free of charge for any classes during the current term, or future classes that begin prior to April 15th, 2020. We're here to help make the transition to online classes as seamless and effective as possible for all educators during this difficult and stressful time.

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Navinaa Sanmugavadivel
Education enthusiast