Is it Essential to Create Learning Assessments in Elearning?

Designing Digitally


eLearning assessments

Most eLearning designers include a quiz or test at the end of a module to assess the learners’ knowledge and skills. Assessments are an easy-to-implement tool that gauge how well the learner has grasped the content of the course. However, you should avoid including assessments just because you “always do” or because your competitors are doing the same. Include them only when you feel that they will serve an instructional purpose.

Decide where you want to place questions – before and after the course, or only after the course. Ideally, a pre-course assessment is effective because it lets you compare the learners’ knowledge gaps before taking the course and how much they have gained from taking the course. Another good strategy is to add knowledge checks throughout the module, maybe after each topic.

Different kinds of summative assessments

There are several kinds of learner assessments that you can build in your eLearning. Most of these question types are built into eLearning authoring software, so they are easy to create and are graded automatically. Let’s talk about just a few of them.

  • True/False: You can use this when you want to test knowledge that has clear answers. Multiple choice: Use this kind of assessment when there are several possible answers, or when you want the learner to select multiple items from a list.
  • Drag and drop: Use this style when you want the learners to rank and sort the options. It is usually used when you want the learners to identify a process or a sequence.
  • Fill in the blanks: Consider using this when you want the learners to recall facts. The answer is not listed on the screen.
  • Matching: Use this format when you want your learners to remember specific facts and the relationship between them. Make sure you clearly explain what needs to be matched.
  • Presentation: At the end of the module, you can ask the learners to create a presentation on a particular topic and share it in the discussion forum.
  • Write a blog: Writing a blog is an alternative to creating a presentation. It tests their communication skills and understanding of the concepts.

Here are some tips on how to create assessments in order to measure the effectiveness of your eLearning as well as the understanding of your learners.

#1: Use variety but be concise

There are several kinds of assessment question types built into authoring software. So, avoid using the same kinds all the time. Mix and match to add variety. This will not only keep your learners engaged, but will also address the learning needs of all kinds of learners. However, you must not get carried away with the variety. Make sure that you keep your assessments to the point and brief. The more verbose you are, the higher the chances of misunderstanding. Carefully write each question and ensure that it is precise and to the point.

#2: Focus on quality

So many times we have seen multiple choice questions where the correct answer is evident. The wrong options are so senseless that even a child can figure out the right answer. The success of eLearning assessments does not lie only on the quality of the question. You need to put in an effort to create believable detractors in the answer options too. The options should provoke the leaner to think. Ideally, avoid creating trick questions. Your aim is to measure their learning comprehension, not to frustrate them.

#3: State expectations

Clarify your expectations of the learners’ performance upfront. Let your learners know how many questions they need to answer, how they will be graded, the minimum score for passing, how many attempts are allowed, and so on. This will help reduce their anxiety so they can focus on the assessments.

#4: Analyze the results

Just grading the assessment is not enough. The scores may gauge your learners’ understanding. But, they also measure the effectiveness of your course. Use analytics to evaluate the strength of your eLearning. For example, if too many learners found a particular question difficult, you may want to either change the wording of the question or rework the answer options. If you see most of the learners have passed the assessment on a particular topic, then maybe the topic was explained well.

Assessments are a staple in many eLearning courses. At Designing Digitally, Inc. we create custom eLearning modules for any and all topics. We design standard assessments as well as gamified questions that motivate learners to focus on the training.

To learn more eLearning solutions and the different capabilities available to improve your corporate training, chat with our team or request a free quote today!