Online training has completely revolutionized how people learn in all types of industries. For example, 77 percent of companies in the United States utilized online training for their employees in 2017. It has allowed new employees faster training.
The Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook Survey discovered that the time it takes to teach new employees through online training decreased by 40-60 percent over live training, which gives them more time to do their primary tasks.
To make courses online as engaging and beneficial as possible, it’s important to include several assessment tools. These may come in the form of formal or informal assessments that may or may not count toward the final score of course participants.
Exams are more than just practice for the GRE or LSAT; they are more than only what college professors use to make sure students have understood an entire semester of material. Online training can include exams to ensure that learners have mastered the material at several checkpoints throughout the course.
Assessments may come in a variety of forms, but what they have in common is helping to make sure that learners have mastered the material they are learning. They may also be used to see what learners already know to adapt learning content to their individual needs.
Types of Exams
An online course can include a variety of exam types, such as short quizzes or more extended assessments. They may include surveys of what learners know, what they want to know, and what they have learned. They may come in different forms, such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, and short answers.
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The course creator should consider whether they want the course to be completely self-paced, so they don’t spend time grading more extended responses, or if they're going to have the ability to rank more in-depth answers from learners.
An assessment doesn’t have to be only an end-of-module exam. It can also come in the form of practice questions, pre-knowledge surveys that help the course adapt to the learning needs of individual students, or provide short-interval checkups of what learners know.
The type of assessment that a course uses should be consistent throughout the training. For example, you don’t want to have practice questions that are multiple-choice and then test learners with short-answer.
You can mix them up, but if there’s an assessment at the end of each module, they should all be the same type of quiz type (like multiple choice). Mixing quiz types might make the most sense when learners are advancing through the course and you need a way to make the assessments more difficult.
Watch How to Choose the Best Exam Software
You may have heard of the terms SCORM and Tin Can. These are both learning standards popular in the eLearning industry. Of the two, SCORM is the more traditional standard.
SCORM is a powerful tool that stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model. A Sharable Content Object means that SCORM shares online learning material used with various systems.
Anyone who creates online training can benefit from SCORM. That’s because you only need to create the content once, and you can use it in a variety of circumstances and systems without the need to change it.
That means exams, tests, and quizzes created with a SCORM-compliant learning management system (LMS) can be used in different learning systems to assess your learners. You only have to create the assessments one time.
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There are a wide variety of testing tools available on the market, ProProfs Quiz Maker included.
Watch: How to create a quiz
Why Include Exams in Online Courses?
Here are a few reasons why you should include exams in online learning materials.
1. Increased Interactivity
Reading, listening, or watching learning material for hours on end without any assessment in between can be tedious and demoralizing for learners. Assessments increase the interactivity of a course, and helps learners see how much of the material they’ve understood. They can then review content or move forward with confidence, knowing they understand the material well.
2. Break from Learning
Additionally, assessments provide learners a break from learning. It helps them find a stopover in their education and take time to digest and reflect on what they’ve learned.
Watching videos or reading text can only be done for so long. Assessments and quizzes allow learners to take a break while still learning and working toward increased retention of the material.
3. Progress Tracking
Progress bars or charts help learners organize their learning. They also give them an easy way to keep track of what they’ve learned so far and what they have yet to master. Learners feel a great sense of progress when they reach a milestone in the course, and exams can provide them with the break they need.
Using such advanced progress tracking systems, a course creator can ensure learners complete a module because they can count progress only if they pass an exam/quiz. This type of progress tracking prevents people from just scrolling through or clicking out of videos to say they finished the course.
4. Helps Preparation
Assessments are also helpful in giving learners the confidence they need to feel prepared. This is especially important in the test preparation industry.
Learners who are preparing for an exam want to know how they will do on the real exam. An online preparation course should give them the knowledge they need to prepare for the exam properly and to gain access to tools showing that they are as prepared as possible. Quizzes, tests, and assessments are the perfect tools to gauge the preparedness of your learners.
5. Details of Enrollees
A course creator can also use assessments to find out more about the people enrolled in the course. This information can be helpful for marketing, understanding the demographics of those who take the course, and helping course creators refine their classes for the needs, levels, and expectations of their learners.
Watch How to Choose the Best Exam Software
Including exams/quizzes/assessments in an online course serves several purposes, and they improve courses on several levels.
For example, they increase the interactivity of a course. They also make it possible for learners to feel confident that they have learned the material necessary to continue with the course or when to know they’ve successfully mastered all the content.
A course creator also benefits from assessments because they can gain valuable information about learners and can improve their courses significantly based on the information learners provide.
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