From a holistic perspective, eLearning assessments can be a bit more challenging to create than traditional assessments if you just limit yourself to the eLearning environment. Assessments that are blended can create a richer assessment experience for the learner and give valuable feedback to the people providing the assessments.
What Are Good Tools For eLearning assessments?
Multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, matching questions, and true/false are all assessment tools that work really well in the online environment because they can be automatically graded. In addition, with many LMS or Learning Management Systems, statistics about student responses can be generated.
Then, using this information from the eLearning assessments, the teacher or trainer can quickly see which concepts were most challenging. A feedback loop is created which the teacher can then use to improve the eLearning experience for the next group of students.
Surveys are another great tool in the eLearning environment. This tool is more reflective in nature, and in most LMS, surveys can have multiple choice, true/false, or open-ended questions. Since there’s no right or wrong answer to these types of questions, there’s less stress on the part of the learner.
A further benefit can be drawn by using a pre/post course survey. By asking a similar set of questions both before and after an online course has been completed, the learner will hopefully draw different conclusions based on what they’ve learned. And, since the realization has come from within, the learner is much more likely to remember what they’ve learned.
What can’t be assessed in an eLearning environment?
eLearning can provide many benefits such as a lower cost, time savings, and flexibility in learning. However, to have a truly rich assessment experience of the learning, one should consider adding an experiential component to the assessment process.
As one example, many people today learn how to code through an eLearning process. There are countless sites with online tutorials, online exercises, and online worksheets. But, to truly learn how to code, you need to actually do it!
And, this is where the experiential piece comes in. As a learnaholic, I have to agree; I truly understand something only after I’ve done it. But, I would also say that the “academic” piece of learning is equally important: you can’t really have one without the other.
In a corporate setting, having a combination of eLearning assessments and experiential assessments can go a long way toward solidifying training concepts. As an example, if there’s a new system that everyone at your company needs to learn how to use, you could first present the training through your LMS.
In the eLearning course, you could teach what the system will be used for and how it could benefit the company. You could then check to see whether the trainee understands the main points of the system via an online assessment. In addition, a survey could be used to get feedback on how your employees view the new system.
Then, of course, they’ll need to try it out experientially. And, having continual access to the online course in your LMS can give them a reference to how the system works, as they deepen their understanding of the system in the “real world”.
The eLearning environment has some powerful assessment tools which are easy to implement. However, in creating your eLearning assessments, you should keep your mind open to the experiential aspect of learning and throw this piece into the assessment mix.