eLearning is trending in the global market. It has become necessary for educators and trainers to adopt flexible and effective assessment methods to align with online learning. We’ll discuss the tips to create effective eLearning assessments and ways to use an AI-based assessment tool.
eLearning, or online learning, has changed the education sector. The global eLearning market is estimated to touch $400 billion by 2026. Statistics show that the mobile eLearning industry will show a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 25% between 2022 and 2028. Schools, colleges, educational centers, and corporate companies are adopting online learning methodologies to streamline education and training.
According to EdTech Magazine, eLearning has a 72% completion and success rate. There’s no denying the advantage of learning online at one’s convenience. With digital learning entering the mainstream, it has become important to make changes to other areas of education and training.
For example, the assessment techniques have to align with eLearning strategies to ensure students are correctly assessed for the knowledge and skills they gain during the course. Many educational institutions are using online test tools like PrepAI to integrate them with LMS (learning management systems) and automate assessments.
However, creating effective assessments for eLearning is a systematic process. It requires a planned approach to ensure that the syllabus, teaching methodologies, and tests are cohesive enough to accurately measure the skills and abilities of students.
In this blog, we will understand more about how to create effective eLearning assessments and ways to use an online test paper generator tool.
Types of eLearning Assessments
Different types of assessments are necessary to get a complete and in-depth picture of how students are progressing through the course. The same types of assessments can also be conducted during employee training.
Diagnostic assessments are simple questions like multiple choice (MCQs) and short answers. These test the current knowledge of students for the given topic or subject. Quizzes are a great way to conduct diagnostic assessments, along with short interviews and discussions. Teachers can get a basic idea about each student based on these assessments.
Summative assessments are conducted toward the end of the course to determine whether the student has gained the necessary knowledge as per the course goals. The tests can be conducted at the end of a chapter or unit, every quarterly, or at the end of the semester. Assignments, projects, and elaborate test papers with descriptive questions come under summative assessments.
Formative assessments are conducted throughout the course and cover a wider range of topics. Teachers can identify the strengths and weaknesses of students based on how they perform in formative assessments. These tests include strategic questions, group projects, short quizzes, one-minute tests, and so on. Educators can adjust their teaching techniques based on the results of formative assessments.
Ipsative assessments are different from other tests as they allow students to compete with themselves and measure their current performance against their previous performance. There is no specific scale or grading system. The focus is entirely on helping each student set personalized goals and motivate themselves to do better. They also have a chance to learn from their mistakes and get better with each assessment.
Norm-referenced assessment in eLearning is conducted to compare one student’s result with another. The students are graded and ranked from highest to lowest to determine where they stand in the entire group. Class tests, debates, admission exams, etc., are norm-referenced as the results are compared and arranged in descending order.
Scenario-based assessments encourage active learning in students. These can be conducted offline and online. Students are given a scenario or a hypothetical situation where they have to use their theoretical knowledge to find the best solution. These assessments don’t necessarily have a single right answer. Instead, scenario-based assessments measure how a student uses their knowledge to solve a problem or make a decision.
Criteria-based assessments are conducted to determine if the students can meet the pre-defined criteria established for the course. The skills, knowledge, and abilities are tested based on the course details. For example, students learning a programming language should be able to write code without errors and execute it correctly. Those who successfully complete the assessments can move on to the next course, while those who cannot complete them will have to relearn and revise.
Gamified assessments are the opposite of traditional assessments. Here, teachers use online tools to create attractive quizzes and tests for various parameters. From aptitude tests to personality tests and curriculum-based tests, anything can be gamified using EdTech tools. This creates a challenge for students and urges them to do their best. Simulation, short quizzes, series of short tests, etc., can be categorized under gamified assessments.
Tips to Create Effective eLearning Assessments
Creating online learning assessments can be easy once teachers know what to consider and which areas to focus upon. Here are a few important tips that make eLearning assessments more effective and accurate.
1. Consider the Your Target Group
Teachers have to look at assessments from a different perspective. Instead of creating the same question paper or assignment for every student, they have to categorize students into different groups and then plan assessments. For example, students of each grade have their own assessments. The entire school doesn’t answer the same question paper.
Similarly, students from the same class can also be segregated based on their learning abilities or other limitations. Students who use translation apps to learn can have the option of answering the assessments in their native language.
This personalization becomes more crucial in corporate training where employees belong to different educational and socio-economic backgrounds and come from different departments and job positions.
2. Limit the Questions
Every assessment should have a purpose and a definite goal. This helps in limiting the questions to certain topics or subjects. Teachers and students will find it easier to handle assessments when they are specific in theme. Moreover, the number of questions in the tests should also be carefully planned based on the purpose.
For example, if a teacher wants to test the knowledge of the students about the functioning of the human heart, the questions should not include other topics like skin diseases, the brain, the liver, or other organs. The test paper should not be so lengthy that it covers every minute part of the topic. Students are likely to get bored or tired due to excessive questions. This leads to a drop in their performance.
3. Use Feedback from Previous Assessments
Use the reports from previous assessments to understand what worked and what didn’t. Teachers can get feedback from students to improve the quality of the test papers. If a majority of the students complain about convoluted questions, it’s an indication that they find the sentences confusing. The next time teachers create eLearning assessments, they should simplify the questions and use clear phrases so that students will not face difficulties in understanding the questions.
Creating a feedback loop also ensures that the assessments get better each time. Soon, educators will have a full picture of the type of test papers they should set for their students. This makes the assessments more effective with minimum or zero errors. Furthermore, teachers can also change their lesson plans and teaching methods to ensure that students learn properly and gain the necessary knowledge to answer the tests.
4. Include Different Difficulty Levels
The eLearning assessments don’t have to be super easy or extremely hard unless there’s a reason a definite reason for it. The best method is to combine questions of more than one difficulty level so that students don’t feel scared or overwhelmed. This also allows teachers to correctly set the duration for the test.
For example, if a test paper has only 5 questions but with a complex difficulty level, it requires more time for students to complete the test compared to an easy test with ten questions. But by using easy and complex questions in the same assessment, teachers can regulate the duration to ensure students answer all questions.
Furthermore, teachers will also have a clear understanding of students’ abilities based on how they perform. A student who correctly answers easy questions but struggles with hard questions will need additional focus and help from the teacher to do better in the next assessment.
5. Incorporate a Variety of Questions
Don’t limit the test papers to a single type of question. Mix up different questions like fill-ups, true or false, multiple choice, and open-ended questions to make the tests interesting for students. This also allows teachers to get a better idea about students’ knowledge and skills. Variety in the question paper increases the engagement rate and encourages students to pay attention to all questions.
It is easy to create assessments with different question types using online question generator tools like PrepAI. Teachers can generate tests and quizzes in a handful of minutes for any given input content. Students will look forward to assessments when they find the processing exciting and fun.
6. Analyze Performance
When conducting eLearning assessments, teachers need to pay attention to how they will analyze the answers written by students. The data collected through assessment tests have to be analyzed and converted into reports. These reports help teachers measure the performance of each student. Teachers can compare the results to the student’s previous performance as well as with other students’ performances.
Most question generator tools can be integrated with third-party applications to automatically create reports and share feedback with students (and their parents). Performance assessments are vital in a business organization and are considered an integral part of the process.
7. Provide Feedback After the Assessment
Once the reports are ready, teachers need to share the feedback with students. Sharing feedback is a must, as it helps students know their strengths and weaknesses and work on them accordingly. How teachers give feedback also has to be considered when planning eLearning assessments.
That’s because in-person feedback is not possible with online learning. While teachers can directly share the test results, it is important to personalize the feedback and provide valuable inputs without hurting the student’s feelings or de-motivating them.
8. Make it Fun and Engaging
Finally, ensure that the assessments are fun and encourage students to participate more instead of feeling scared or afraid. Use multimedia in assessments by including images, videos, audio notes, etc., to further enhance the appeal of assessments.
Whether in schools, colleges, coaching centers, or corporate training programs, assessments that appear fun and competitive will attract more participants. For example, teachers can conduct quizzes instead of written tests at the end of an online lesson. Gamified assessments are a perfect choice to make tests and appraisals engaging.
How to Create an Assessment Using a Question Generator Tool
Creating assessments using an online tool is straightforward. Choose an AI question generator tool like PrepAI and follow the below steps:
- Create an account for free using your email ID. Verify the account to start using the tool immediately.
- Enter input data using one of the available methods. Copy-paste the text, upload a PDF or Word file, use the built-in search, or provide an URL to a video.
- Click on ‘generate questions’ to convert input content into different types of questions. This takes just a few seconds to create a test with MCQs, true-false, fill-ups, and short questions. You can also select the number and types of questions you want in the test paper. This saves the time spent on editing.
- Go through the question paper to rate, edit, or delete the questions accordingly.
- Add more questions if necessary using the Add Question option.
- Preview the test paper and finalize it. A copy will be saved in the account and can be accessed through the user dashboard.
- Export the test paper as Word, Excel, or PDF files. PrepAI also allows tests to be conducted directly through the interface.
- Share the assessments with students to test their knowledge and abilities. PrepAI premium version generates HOTS questions as well that test the higher-order thinking skills (analytical, comprehension, evaluating, etc.) in students.
eLearning assessments help measure the effectiveness of the teaching methods and students’ learning abilities. The assessments provide the bigger picture to help teachers and trainers streamline the material, curriculum, teaching techniques, etc., to ensure greater results.
Identifying the roadblocks and deficiencies in the process is the first step to establishing comprehensive online learning systems in an establishment. It is a continuous process and should be performed repeatedly to eliminate even the smallest of errors that hamper the learning model followed by the institution.