Assessment Patterns in E-Learning
Remember the time when you were in school when those tests and exams made you wait for your school life to end? Guess what? Tests, exam and assessment and whatever sorrow you might call it, will continue to haunt you for the rest of your life! So you might as well make peace with the fact that Life in itself is an assessment of sorts with no grades allocated. However, when it comes to e-learning, assessment is a serious forerunner to contemplating and completing your course.
Assessments are an integral part of gauging the understanding of the learner, about the subject at hand. They help organizations to keep track of their employee’s performance, while motivating the learner to do better. Commonly, e- learning courses within an organization are used for the purpose of career development. Irrespective of the fact when and how and where an e-learning course is used, assessments are an inevitable factor in the process. Let us take a look at the types of assessments and the formats in which they are presented.
Formative assessments provide ongoing feedback immediately after a chapter or module. This helps in recognizing and addressing problems immediately. Formative assessments generally have no points or scores as they just prepare the learner for the final assessment at the end of the course
A Summative assessment on the other hand, is an evaluation at the end of the course, usually with preconceived standards of excellence, along with a high point value. Basically, this is ‘final examination’ of your course. Interestingly, summative assessments can also be used formatively, in subsequent courses. Ideally, summative and formative assessments are shown in the following ways :
Single Select: Evaluates learners analytical skills. Here the learner must choose the correct answer from the list of options given. Feedback needs to be given in the form of correct and incorrect message.
Multiple Select: Usually used to recall concepts, the learner must choose the correct options, usually two or three, depending on the question. Feedback needs to be given in the form of correct, incorrect or perusal message.
Drag and Drop: Mostly used for recall of keywords, in context of a sentence or, a phrase. The learner is required to drop the correct answer in the corresponding box or tab.
Matching: Shows the relationship between two sets of data, one having to match the other. The learner is expected to match the corresponding right answers.
Drop Down: Gauges the learners’ methodical reasoning. The learner must choose the right answer from the options given. The options are shown a drop down box, which and the cursor can be used to click on the options.
When it comes to e-learning, assessments are tools that measure knowledge skills and attitude of the learner, while determining the next step, in terms of growth within an organization
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There were a few letters marked “Never sent. Never signed” that were discovered in Abraham Lincoln’s desk after his death. When he was upset with someone he would write a letter expressing his anger but would refrain from sending it to the intended person. This practice allowed him to vent his anger, yet not allow needless or unpleasant consequences. One of the famous unsent letters was to Gen. George G Meade, who was blamed for letting Robert E Lee escape after Gettysburg. Unfortunately, in today’s age of social media, people have “lost the art of the unsent angry letter” – an expression used in a NY times article by Maria Konnikova.
It is common knowledge that good assessments play a key role in the making of an effective online course. They not only help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of the subject-matter, but also reinforce the learning effectively.
We all know the e-learning industry is full of acronyms. Even the word e-learning itself is the shorthand for electronic learning. As an e-learning professional, it is important to be familiar with various acronyms used in the field of e-learning. Here, I would like to share some acronyms that are commonly used in e-learning.
E-learning is increasingly used by organizations as online courses are effective, affordable and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. But, many organizations are not able to realize these benefits offered by the online training medium due to a serious problem – high dropout rates.
Day-by-day, the demand for rapid e-learning is increasing, and so, everyone is using rapid authoring tools to develop online courses. There are many authoring tools available in the market but a few became very popular. Most of our customers and prospects prefer Articulate Storyline to other rapid authoring tools such as Captivate and Lectora. Developing courses in Storyline is very easy, and the tool offers a lot of flexibility to customize the features or look and feel of the online course.
When it comes to mobile learning, HTML5 with responsive design is required to provide the best learning experience on mobiles, especially on smart-phones with small screens. Courses developed in Storyline and Lectora work fine on mobile devices such as iPads and other tablets, but it is difficult to view them in smart-phones. Captivate has a responsive design feature. So, we must choose it if we need to develop courses for all mobile devices. Captivate is not very intuitive and flexible to develop customized features. We can also build mobile- compatible courses using manual coding but it is time-consuming and expensive.
Recently, I read the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design” and in it, I saw the great news for which I was waiting for a while. I thought I should share it with you all. The developers of Articulate Storyline, Lectora Inspire, Lectora Online and other authoring tools are in the process of adding responsive design feature by the end of 2015.
Here is some information from the E-learning Guild report “Authoring Tool for Mobile Design”.
|Scales to multiple screen sizes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Responsive design features||Coming by end of 2015||Yes||Coming by end of 2015|
2016 will be a watershed year for mobile learning as all courses may be made compatible to all mobile devices. Storyline may become the first choice to develop e-learning or m-learning courses because of its intuitiveness. This may force all learning management systems to be compatible with mobile devices. MOODLE is ahead in this regard, and it has a responsive design feature and works on all the mobile devices.
Hope you find this post useful. Do share your views.
Despite today’s technology and a connected world, classroom training is still an effective method to impart training to all employees. But, instructor-led teaching may not be appropriate for all training needs. Suppose there is a requirement for an organisation to train its employees spread across the globe, on a particular product, in a month’s time, classroom training will not serve the purpose. Here, e-learning serves as a good option to train employees, at comparatively lower costs, within a given schedule. Due to improvements in reliability and speed, converting classroom training materials into online courses has become a justified and cost-effective opportunity.
In my previous blogs, I have discussed about the importance of instructional design strategy and visual design strategy, the two main elements of e-learning in terms of design approach. In this blog, I will discuss about the significance of audio and audio strategy.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their sector in the country they operate. So, it needs to ensure that the employees are effectively trained on these rules to avoid compliance issues. Traditionally, this was done through face-to-face training in an engaging manner. But, with organizations expanding globally and the need for constant training, companies started using e-learning to quickly reach their global employees.
E-Learning is gradually replacing the classroom training format, worldwide. 41.7 % of fortune 500 companies are using e-learning tools for online training (E-learning Magazine 2013).
Online courses need to be engaging and interactive because they are self-paced i.e. an instructor is not present to deliver the courses.
Content comprehension is an important step in the e-learning development process. It broadly includes identification of relevant content and its separation from irrelevant content and arranging it in a proper manner. It enables instructional designers (IDs) to ensure that topics ‘flow’ in a logical sequence. It also helps IDs to find gaps in the content. If performed effectively, it will help you understand the subject-matter of the course better, and you will be able to present the content in an easily understandable manner.