Assessment in eLearning

eLearning has introduced us to a richer, varied and student-centred way for us to connect with our students/workforce. However do we take advantage of all the possible innovative ways to assess our participants online and do we use them efficiently enough? In this series of posts I’m going to take an in-depth look at why we assess, explore different ways of assessing online and identify how we can assess in a more meaningful way.

So what’s the real reason you add an assessment or quiz into your online course? Why are you testing? For some of us (and I’ll include myself in this) we add a quiz at the end or questions throughout because that’s what expected of us or it’s a quick way to add interactivity. For a small minority of learning sadists, it’s another little way to torture your learners!! Jokes! I’m sure they don’t exist!

Let’s look at why we need to include assessment. Some reasons can include:

  • Highlight what is important and thereby motivate learners to focus on it.
  • Allow learners apply what they have been learning.
  • Acknowledge that learners have mastered certain knowledge or skills.

Before you decide to include an assessment, it can be worthwhile asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is the assessment authentic and based on real life application?
  • Is the assessment directly linked to learning outcomes?
  • Is there an option to assess using methods?
  • How will you provide feedback? How detailed will this feedback be?
  • How often will you assess through the course or module?

These questions can be asked during the initial ‘Design’ stage of the project and can be crucial to ensure only the ‘need to know’ information ends up in the course and is tested.

You may also like to read our other post, where we examine the different ways we assess online and the advantages and disadvantages of these methods.