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Creating Effective Assessments to Improve E-learning Course Outcomes

Written By Mandal Mohan Rao

Creating Effective Assessments to Improve eLearning Course Outcomes

Assessments in eLearning courses are intended for reviewing and evaluating the impact of training courses on learners. According to www.jisc.ac.uk,one of the UK leaders in digital technologies in education and research, assessments are an integral part of strategy to improve learning quality. Assessments are not only limited to track the progress of learning, it also serves the purpose of addressing the obstacles in the way of better learning and training.

However, to improve the learning outcomes, assessments need to be designed in an effective way. These are a few guidelines that can be considered while including assessments in an eLearning course.

Make learners to respond

An assessment is better only when it can make learners to respond to a particular question or problem. This can greatly help in identifying the actual needs of the learners as well as measuring their current knowledge and skills. For this, games, activities, quizzes etc., can be used to assess the learning. But you need to make sure that they are designed in a way to make learners interested or challenge them to respond to them.

For example, we used the ‘magic lamp’ game in one of our eLearning courses for the assessment. In the assessment, learners needed to give correct answers for all the questions in order to win the treasure. See the screenshot given below:

Make learners to respond

Create a good balance of hard and easy questions

Maintain a balance by providing a mix of easy and hard questions. Too easy questions may fail to excite or challenge the learners. Not only this, you cannot measure the knowledge and skills of learners correctly with very simple questions. For example, when learners go through a course related to machine components, asking a question like ‘machines are made of iron’ – ‘answer yes or no’ cannot give an idea about learners’ knowledge and understanding about the machines.

In the same way, very hard or tricky questions can damage the confidence of learners. In such a case, learners may feel frustrated and demotivated. To avoid this, alternative choices of answering like ‘do not know’, ‘can’t say’ etc., can be included in assessments.

Make assessments contribute towards an impactful course

It is needless to mention that assessments should be instructionally sound in eLearning courses and also aligning to the ultimate learning objectives. For example, if the learning objective of the course is to make learners understand the complete process of six sigma, then the assessment question should make learners think and recall all information only about the six sigma process, and not about anything else. Consider the screenshot:

Make assessments contributing towards impactful course

The following screenshot shows how the question needs to be designed so that it aligns with the learning objective, which is understanding the six sigma process (in this case).

Assessments in eLearning

Thus, we have seen how assessments need to be designed so that they make learners respond and thereby achieve their learning objectives. Would you like to suggest something more to enhance the effectiveness of assessments in eLearning courses? Please do share your views. We would really appreciate your response.

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