Online learning assessment and feedback strategies are essential for successful learning outcomes. Assessments fall into three categories: 1. Assessment for learning – such as designing learning outcomes based on student knowledge, 2. Assessment as learning – the stage when students are engaging and active with the learning process and pulling from previous knowledge to build new knowledge and finally 3. Assessment of learning – a summative process that confirms what students have come to know and or do, and where they stand in relation to others by the end of the course.
Instructors and students can measure the learning progress and outcomes by monitoring, surveying and communicating. There are various methods of assessment used for formative (while learning) and summative (concluding) such as performance-based assessment (a real life task), that can overlap both areas. Feedback travels between peers and also between peer and instructor so that both learner and instructor can improve upon the quality of learning. For instance, a survey could capture the learner feedback about their mid way or final feedback in regards to their experience, and where improvements can be made.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) offer a variety of assessment tools such as multiple choice quizzes that are best used when testing static or technical information. LMS support the learners needs to interact with peers in forums, often provides a journal system, and social tools for sharing group and independent feedback. Effective feedback needs to follow principles that are descriptive, focused, limited, timely and peer contributed. Both peer and self assessment are effective factors for learning and are the backbone of a students learning outcomes.
Within the LMS instruction, ensure to incorporate 7 principles of assessment: 1. Support students with various needs, 2. match the learning curriculum and learning goals to match that of the interests and learning styles of all the students, 3. communication of important points are indicated at the start and throughout, 4. provide various types of assessment, 5. provided over time through multiple opportunities to reflect a full range of learning, 6. provide ongoing description feedback that is clear and timely for the means of meeting the final achievement, 7. foster students to self-assess their own learning, goals and next stages of learning (Government of Ontario, 2010).
Government of Ontario. (n.d.). Facilitator’s guide – assessment for learning. http://www.edugains.ca/resourcesDI/D.I.%20Enhancement%20Package/Assessment%20for%20Learning/DI_Assessment_Gde_2009.pdf