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The most effective online learning assessment types

Online assessments are designed to evaluate users that have completed e-learning courses. Yet, every person learns differently; some are able to memorize and retain information easily, while others work in a slower and more methodical way.
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John Sherman
2017-09-04

Online assessments are designed to test and evaluate the skills and knowledge of users that have completed e-learning courses.

Using different types of assessments is a great way for employers to increase the performance and productivity of employees.

E-learning has always been viewed as important for employee development, offering independent study and materials on demand.

Yet, every person learns differently and at a different pace; some employees are able to memorize and retain information easily, while others work as a slower and more methodical way.

That’s why it’s essential to find the most effective online learning assessment type that will suit everybody and allow everyone to grow as employees. In addition, this will also achieve an organization’s goals and objectives.

Online learning assessments can be conducted during each course, which is known as formative assessments, or at the end of the course, which is called a summative assessment.

It is important to understand the differences between formative and summative assessments in order to choose the most effective system for your organization’s employee development.

Formative Assessments

 The intention of formative assessments is to provide employees and trainees with regular feedback during their engagement with e-learning courses.

This system has the overall objective of allowing employees to learn from feedback and implement the advice into making future learning better.

The feedback provided from the formative assessment can highlight any weaknesses in particular topics and areas of learning, such as the Bribery Act and Data Protection.

It can also pinpoint a user’s strengths, helping to build confidence. Knowing what topics need further work before the end of a course allows employees to address problems during study and enhance their future skills and knowledge.

Indeed, an academic study found that for online assessments to be effective for its learners, they should incorporate a variety of assignments with feedback available on a regular basis.

Thus, formative assessments allow employees to learn and improve as they go. Without the focus on an overall grade, they can work on problems before it’s too late and ensure they are confident when the end of the course is reached.

In addition, formative assessment results mean that an employer can modify e-learning to meet the needs of the individual employee immediately, in order to allow them develop in a way that if better for them.

This customization of activities and assessments allows employers and their employees to progress together, instead of there being a distance between learning development and management.

Frequent quizzes during e-learning courses and study materials are an effective assessment type, which provides a way of reinforcing the topics being examined.

In particular, short answers or multiple choice can help employees test their skills and knowledge.

Quizzes during learning will allow an employer to track each employee’s individual progress and provide feedback on any shortcomings that require more work to better future learning.

Personal learning logs are also a credible way to assess online study.

By providing employees with an outlet for their thoughts, feelings and ideas about an e-learning course, they can reflect on what they have learned and highlight their own strengths and weaknesses.

As an employer you can analyze the self-assessment information from the personal learning logs and use it to track progress and provide helpful feedback for future improvement.

Summative Assessment

In contrast to formative assessments, summative assessments aim to evaluate an employee’s learning at the end of the course.

This will allow an employer to examine whether the employee or trainee has achieved the desired learning objectives after study.

This normally includes a final grade and can even allow progress onto the next stage of an e-learning course.

Summative assessments allow an employee to monitor their achievements and it can be a big confidence boost to see you have passed your e-learning course and mastered the content.

As an employer, you can analyze the results of their individual assessment and see their strengths and areas for improvement.

In addition, employers can examine trends from the results of all employees to improve future training programs and increase employee development on important topics, such as Worksite Safety and Pricing Strategy.

Scenario or multiple-choice exams are an effective online summative assessment that will challenge a user’s skills and knowledge acquired from e-learning courses.

This will test whether their own learning has been effective and if there are any topics that could benefit from further training.

Another successful way to test employee learning is by using online presentations as a summative assessment.

Having them create content on a topic they have studied and share their findings with their colleagues, makes them put information into their own words and communicate it effectively to others.

Employers will be able to evaluate whether the employee has understood the content and if they have achieved the main learning objectives by the results of their presentation.

Effective Online Learning

 It is important to remember that every employee learns differently and responds differently to various assessment types. What will benefit one employee’s skills may not help another.

That is why the most effective online learning system can be a mixture of formative assessments throughout e-learning with helping feedback, as well as summative assessments to cement knowledge at the end of a course.

This way an employee can learn progressively and hopefully retain more information from e-learning. In the long run, this will also help the employer and organization in terms of performance, productivity and training effectiveness.

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