Over the past couple of years, eLearning has become the norm as a safe and viable option for learning whilst we fight the ongoing battle with the pandemic. An important part of online learning includes assessments, which tests the spectrum of how much learners know, how well they know and understand it, if they can apply it in real life and in different scenarios. These assessments can vary between formative assessments (used throughout the duration of the course, after completing each module) and summative assessments (used at the end of the course).
Unfortunately, certain subjects, especially complex ones, can make assessments extremely tricky if you need to scope all of the above and still get a relatively accurate idea of how well your students are coping, understanding and progressing. The very importance of these assessments is quite often overlooked, with several mistakes being made that either negatively affects learners, their learning experience or the outcome of the assessment itself.
Below, we list a few common mistakes that have been made in the past, with the intention to steer clear of them in the future which will hopefully result in more effective learning assessments overall.
There is a big difference between a test, a quiz and an assessment. Assessments should under no circumstances include questions meant to confuse, trick or mislead learners – especially in an online environment. The goal of the assessment is to understand the general understanding the learner has of the work being taught – not to confuse them into questioning their knowledge.
Having the ability to understand the LMS platform and how it works is not enough. Every assessment needs to come with clear and precise instruction as to what is expected and how to successfully complete it. Some learners may not be as tech-savvy as others, resulting in a failed assessments and demotivated learners.
As your course incorporates several learning aspects and techniques due to different learning preferences, you need to think along the same line when you are busy drafting your assessments for the course. You need to incorporate different question types in order to ensure that your assessments are not only diverse but also catering for everyone’s needs and preferences.
A lot of tutors sometime have the tendency to hint at what an assessment will be about or even straight out tell learners which pages to study. There is a fine line trying to assist your learners and making it too easy for an assessment to accurately reflect their knowledge.
After an assessment has taken place, it is vital to go through it with your learners, see where they struggled and share with them as to which answers were incorrect and how to proceed from here onwards. Depending on the amount of learners you have, one-on-one sessions are encouraged in order to see where the learner is experiencing issues with the course.