Creating engaging content is just one part of a good eLearning course. Without effective eLearning assessment, you cannot know their progress or identify weak points in their knowledge. Measuring performance in the right way will also boost the learner's confidence, provide quality feedback and will even help to retain information.
Using quizzes at the end of a module is an easy method of testing the learner’s understanding and provides results in a quantifiable way. By positioning them throughout the course, you can give a snapshot view of how much the user knows about different subtopics. They also create a direct way to measure progress throughout the learning journey. Many courses will begin with a quick assessment to gauge the background knowledge of the user. As the user sees their progress and understanding grow over time, they remain confident and engaged.
You can use quizzes to help personalise the learning journey and create a course that is tailored to each individual. Your target users might come from different backgrounds with different fields of knowledge. Another reason you might want to start a course with a quiz is to allow users to ‘test out’ their knowledge. If somebody already knows the content of a particular module, they can skip through to a level that is new to them. This will maximise engagement as the learner is always challenged.
Artificial intelligence (AI) might still seem like a futuristic concept, but it is already starting to revolutionise the eLearning industry and increase end results. Periodically assessing the learner will build a picture of their strengths and weaknesses through data. AI can then personalise the course by bringing up weak topics more frequently and reinforcing the information. It could even be used to change the method of learning; analysing performance data could pick up that the learner is more visual, and provide more diagrams and videos. A kinaesthetic learner might have their course adjusted to include more projects and walkthroughs. The more tailored the course, the better the results.
Make sure you use the right assessment method for your eLearning subject. You’ll want to use a scenario-based test environment if you are teaching more complex ideas, for example. Branching scenarios guide the learner through a problem with multiple levels or obstacles. It requires effective decision making and gets them to think about the content learned in a real world scenario. It ensures that they have learned to apply their knowledge in the right way. A quantitative topic, on the other hand, would more successfully test the user through simple multiple choice questions.
Adding variety to assessment methods is just as important as in the body of your course. It provides challenges in different ways and makes sure that all types of learners are tested accordingly. However, be consistent. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use a wide range of assessment types throughout the course, but each section should follow a general outline. This makes it easier for the user to follow and avoids any confusion. You can always break up an assessment if you need to. Think of the theory and practical tests required to obtain a driver’s licence.
There are many different ways to include assessments in your course that can provide a good measure of performance. How you implement this will ultimately depend on your user and complexity of the topic.