Faculty new to online teaching may feel that assessment in online courses is limited to multiple choice quizzes or traditional research papers. However, through careful design and technology use, there are other assessment options to effectively assess how well students achieve learning outcomes in an online course.
As in the classroom, assessment is easier when it starts with observable, measurable outcomes. Once these outcomes are defined, the instructor can use a variety of formal and informal online assessments to measure student progress in the course.
According to New Horizons for Learning’s Building Tool Room five elements characterize effective online assessment (Gigliotti):
Continuous interaction between instructor and students and among students
Contribution to the learning process
Real-world demonstration, application, or performance
Relevant and aligned to the student outcomes and the learning community
Clearly communicated goals and requirements for success
“These elements are seen in other frameworks for developing and evaluating online learning assessment.” (Gaytan and McEwan 2007).