Learner Assessment in Online Courses: Best Practices Course Design

Selecting assessment activities is a powerful way to achieve learning outcomes and to assure course completion. It determines the degree to which each of our goals has been reached-hence the degree to which your course is successful and valuable. How should someone design assessments in online learning?

Good course design that aligns competencies with outcomes is critical. Therefore, if you’ve kept in mind the fundamental questions “What do I want my students learn to do?” and “How will they show their skills, attitudes, and abilities”? it will be much easier to develop the appropriate assessment strategy.

Speaking about online courses, most instructors provide a final quiz at the end of their course and a passing score accompanied by a certificate. This is a good start to apply assessment but is it enough? Probably not. Assessment works best when it is ongoing, not episodic. This way, you can also show students their progress in the course and what they achieved in each step of the way. Harasim, Hiltz, Teles, & Turoff (1996, p. 167) for example say that:

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