Creating an MCQ test online for eLearning assessments comes with a few challenges. You need to avoid certain mistakes to develop effective tests for online learners. Here, we’ll discuss the common mistakes and ways to avoid them when developing eLearning assessments for any target audience.
The EdTech industry is flourishing around the world as more educational institutions and corporate companies are investing in online learning and assessment platforms.
According to Global News Wire, the global eLearning market is estimated to reach $457.8 billion by 2026. Well, online learning will have online assessments. So greater the number of online students, the higher number of participants for assessments. Online learning is accompanied by online assessments. Many educational institutions have switched to eLearning assessments and conduct tests online to save time and resources.
Online assessment tools are popular in the EdTech industry. Teachers can create quizzes and MCQ tests online using AI-powered platforms. The online test tools are automated to generate questions based on user input. With a clean interface and user-friendly features, the test generator platform creates different types of assessments in a handful of minutes.
However, it’s not always easy to create eLearning assessments despite access to advanced technology. Firstly, you need to have a proper plan to develop the tests and customize them for students. Be it the test objectives or feedback model, you should avoid common mistakes when developing online assessments.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the mistakes in detail and provide solutions to enhance the quality of your eLearning assessments.
Mistakes to Avoid While Developing eLearning Assessments
Knowing about the challenges in developing online assessments will give you a chance to create a strategy for overcoming them. You can prevent these mistakes altogether so that the assessments are aligned with the learning objectives and deliver the desired results.
1. Having Vague Learning Outcomes
The primary intent of conducting assessments is to determine if online learners have gained the necessary knowledge and skills from the course. This is the objective of the test. However, creating an assessment that aligns the objectives and outcomes can be tricky when either is not clearly defined.
Analyze the course program and its purpose before setting the objectives for the assessments. For example, if the course is for web designing, you should test the student’s abilities to design a functioning website. The assessment will have to include theoretical questions to test the student’s basic knowledge and integrated interface where they can design a website in real-time and submit it on the assessment platform. That way, the objective of the assessment is to accurately measure whether students can implement the knowledge and skills in real life.
2. Using the Same Question Format Throughout
It’s your responsibility to make assessments interesting and appealing to the participants. Many people find tests scary, and some find them boring. Furthermore, every student is different. The assessment you create has to tick all boxes so that the participants feel comfortable and enjoy the process. Creating a test with the same type of questions can be counterproductive. Mix them up to bring in some variety.
For example, the test paper can have ten MCQs, five fill-ups, five short questions, five true or false questions, etc. However, you still need to follow a proper structure so that all questions are in one format in the same place. It can be annoying when the questions are mixed up too much. Maintain consistency but also ensure variety. Online assessment tools such as PrepAI allows you to create an assessment with MCQs, true or false, fill-ups, and short descriptive questions from the same input content. You can even choose the type and number of questions you want in the test paper. Just enter the input data and the interface will do the rest.
Similarly, some assessments may have to include audio-visual content to cater to students with special needs. For example, a visually impaired student will need audio-based assessments.
3. Complex Questions
While trick questions are useful, they aren’t always necessary in assessments. Determine if the course and the learning objectives support the use of tricky questions to test the participants’ knowledge and skills. Having too many of these can distract the person from the actual intent of the assessment.
Similarly, it’s important to phrase the questions in clear language. Using double negatives and complex words (especially when simple words fit better) can cause unnecessary stress on the participant and affect their performance. The subject and the purpose of the question have to be evident when the student reads it.
The type of language used has to align with the course contents and students’ learning capacity. For example, research-level language should not be used in a test conducted for high school students as it is much higher than their learning capacity.
4. Choosing the Wrong Assessment Method
Most assessments can be categorized as qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative assessments are easier to create as they measure how much knowledge the participant has gained from the course. These tests mainly have questions like MCQs, true or false, fill-ups, etc. Qualitative assessments determine how the student applies the newly gained knowledge and skills to achieve their goals or find a solution to the given problem.
The type of assessment should align with the course and learning objectives. For example, subjects like history or geography have quantitative questions, but science has both types of assessments. After all, knowing how to dissect an insect and performing it correctly is equally important for a science student. Developing assessments using wrong or unsuitable types of assessments will give skewed results.
5. Not Using Templates or Not Being Consistent
In today’s world, there’s no need to do everything on your own. All types of assessments have pre-designed question templates to save time and energy. You can either use existing templates or customize them to suit your specifications.
Another advantage of using templates is to create consistency in your tests. Using the same structure will make it easy for participants as they know what to expect. They can prepare accordingly and categorize their time to complete the assessment within the test’s duration. If you change the test format every time, participants have to familiarize themselves with the structure of every exam, which is stressful and time-consuming.
6. Irregular Response Format
The entire assessment should have the same type of response format to prevent confusion. Online tests have mouse or keyboard input formats in most instances. Some tests might include audio or video uploads where the participants record the answers and upload them or provide the response in real-time (as in interviews).
However, switching from one format to another midway through the assessment will affect the participants’ performance, especially if they aren’t aware of this beforehand. Even those students who know the answers can feel stressed by a sudden change in response format.
7. Unclear or Confusing Instructions
Every online assessment should start with a list of instructions. Provide details about the test format and ways to navigate the LMS platform. Should the participants use only the mouse? Should they use the keyboard to enter the answers? Will there be any audio recordings to listen to on the headphones? Answers to such questions are a part of the instructions. Don’t expect every participant to know how to use the platform. Instead, they don’t know and create a list of instructions.
You can also set up a brief tutorial or ask them to take a mock test before attempting the final assessment. This helps students feel less stressed about using an unknown platform and will save the time and energy they spent on figuring out how to enter the answers.
8. Using Too Many Cultural References
eLearning assessments are different from online pop quizzes. Using slang and cultural references in the questions will confuse the participants. Don’t use acronyms unless necessary. Don’t use SMS lingo or social media acronyms in the questions. People come from diverse backgrounds, and the same words can mean different things for different groups. Emojis and symbols should also be avoided to prevent misinterpretation.
Use simple, clear, and plain language that can be understood by most people. From the instructions to feedback, everything has to have a similar tone and should be devoid of cultural references.
9. Incorrect or Ineffective Grading Criteria
How do you grade online learners? Will you follow the same criteria used for grading offline students? Participants aren’t always aware of how their online assessments will be graded. That doesn’t mean you can have a vague or incorrect system. Unless you know what the learning and assessment objectives are, you cannot create rating criteria.
Choosing an ineffective system will skew the results. Students may get higher or lower grades that don’t align with their capabilities. Either could lead to issues in the long run. Hence, clearly define what you want to assess and how you want to do it. Then create a test that suits your grading system.
Cognitive bias is just as real and risky when grading assessments. As humans, we cannot avoid biases, and this can have a lasting impact on learning and assessment grading. Relying on an automated test generator will ensure that the participants are graded by the application instead of people. It can reduce human error and bias to a great extent.
10. Too Easy or Too Hard Questions
Avoid extremes of any kind unless there’s a specific need for it. Use a combination of easy, moderate, and hard questions to create a balanced test. This will also help you understand how the participants perform. You can analyze the learning abilities based on how they fare in the overall test.
Furthermore, all the easy or hard questions should not be in one place. Scatter them throughout the assignment. That way, participants can adjust their time to answer as many questions as possible.
11. Not Providing Feedback
eLearning assessments are complete only when feedback is included with the results. How else will the students know about their performance and ways to improve? The ideal method is to provide participants with a list of their inaccurate answers in the assessment. That way, they’ll know where they went wrong and correct themselves. This can be followed by tips or recommendations to do better the next time.
Many LMS platforms include automated feedback. This will save you time as there’s no need to record personal feedback from your side. However, it can help the participants to get personalized feedback. This helps them accurately identify their weak areas and work on them.
12. Not Choosing the Right Assessment Tool
With so many assessment tools available, it can be hard to choose the right one for your needs. Investing in a complex platform with extensive features may not be helpful if you want to keep things simple for the participants. Rather, you need an automated online MCQ test maker or a question generator for teachers that lets you select different types of questions.
For example, NLP (natural language processing) assessment tools such as PrepAI is an with multiple input and output options. This helps you create any type of test and include HOTS (higher-order thinking skills) questions in the assessment. The tests can be conducted offline or online (through the same interface). PrepAI is quick, easy, and straightforward. It is also cost-effective and scalable to suit varied eLearning requirements.
Now that you know the common mistakes in eLearning assessments and ways to avoid them, it’s time to find the right assessment tool and get started by defining the learning objectives. Ineffective tests can have a long-term impact on the establishment and participants.
The assessments you create should be as perfect as the course program. However, remember that it is a continuous progress. Keep monitoring the tests and results, get feedback from participants, and make changes to eliminate errors.
Talk to our team to know more about how PrepAI can help you create high-quality assessments in a quick time.