Authoring great e-learning assessments

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What is the purpose of simply offering an online course, if there is no way to gauge how much of it has been imbibed and retained by students, right? But authoring effective e-learning assessments is an art, as they are devised to not only test the student’s knowledge or performance, but to also challenge their creativity and thinking. So, only a set of good questions is not enough to prepare an assessment. You need to follow the right test design which measures how much the learners have learnt, and also enables them to break learning barriers. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind while authoring e-learning assessments.

  • Focus on the objective of the assessment. It can be simply to grade students, or encourage and engage them more deeply with the course. Based on the purpose, you can come up with a short quiz or a lengthier final exam. Often a simple activity instead of a regular test can get students hooked to the subject! Defining the objective will also help in deciding on the number of questions, number of attempts allowed, extent of complexity, and time limit.
  • It’s advisable to author an assessment right after jotting down the learning objectives of a certain course. Because you are the most focused at this point of time, you can come up with as many questions as possible related to the objectives. Then you can arrange them depending on their difficulty levels or separate them into quizzes, practice exams or more.
  • Ensure students get the most out of each e-learning course. Help them get ready for the test by going over the concepts through practice exams or activities. Offering a summary after each module ends is also a great idea.
  • Introduce the option to randomize questions while authoring assessments. This way, if a student failed to pass the test in one go and is taking it a second or third time, he or she will not come across the same questions every time.
  • Remedial measures should be included in the assessments, in case a learner fails to pass the test. He or she should know what to do in such a situation – that is, whether he or she can continue the course or start all over again.
  • Please remember that it is not necessary for all e-learning courses to have multiple tests, quizzes or exams. For instance, a short course can do with only a final exam, while a course covering numerous modules might benefit from multiple quizzes.

Digital publishing platforms like MagicBox can especially make creating assessments a dream. You can pick from various question templates, create, sell questions and assessment banks, and embed assessments in content as well. You can also upload existing QTI compliant questions to the question bank in xml format. These platforms not only enhance the effectiveness of learning objects, but also help in evaluating learning outcomes and recognizing knowledge gaps. Authoring e-learning assessments can seem challenging at first, but with a little understanding and practice, you can make online education real fun for students.

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