Six Things Teachers Must Know Before Conducting Online Assessments

Conducting Online AssessmentsCreating quality assessments is never easy. Whether using traditional or online testing, instructors must always consider the best options for assessing students.

Administering assessments online requires different considerations than paper test administration. Using a little forethought can help you create effective online assessments with fewer frustrations. Teachers who make the choice to move from traditional tests to online tests have several new things to consider.

Before jumping in to online testing, consider these ideas. It may mean you need to make changes to the types of tests you give, but considering these ideas will make the transition smoother and more successful when you switch to online assessments.
Watch How to Create an Assessment Online

1.    Rethink your testing procedures

Consider if your online test will be given in a classroom setting or taken independently. Treat each one differently. In a classroom setting, your test will be monitored, so you can control what sources are used, how much cheating occurs, and other issues that arise during a proctored test.  In online courses, test are typically taken independently by students at either an appointed time, or at student convenience.

In situations where your students are taking online courses, or are taking exams outside of class, treat the test as if it were open book. Assume students will always try to get answers using outside sources. If you are realistic about this, you will be able to ask a different type of question and still get quality results. For example, instead of asking for rote information or memorized facts, ask students to prove what they know by solving a problem. Even if they use outside sources they will still be solving a problem, and proving they know how to do it.

2.    Are you forthcoming with your students?

How much do you tell your class? Students appreciate knowing what a teacher expects. Information such as class rules, types of assessments given, and expectations should be delivered to students when a course begins. If your tests will not be based on the course text, but on some other document or on in-class presentations, tell students in advance.

Prior to a test, distribute or post time restrictions and test length to be expected. Tell students how to study by explaining types of questions that will appear on exams. The more information you give students about your course and assessments, the more likely they are to succeed.

3.    Will you ask questions that require application instead of memorization?

Assessing what students know should be more than just finding out what facts they can recall and repeat. Problem solving and real world application, or providing examples, are better indicators of student’s ability to apply what they have learned. Understanding and application are better indicators of both long-term learning and future success.

This does not mean your tests can no longer contain questions that require memorization. It only means you need to reduce the number of items requiring rote answers and add questions that apply subject knowledge.

4.    The need to get personal

Learn to know your students. Familiarize yourself with each student’s writing style. Save samples and keep short notes, especially when students express an opinion.

When conducting a test, use a question that asks a personal opinion. Or get students to give at least one personal example, at some point during each test. Personal ideas, facts, and opinions are difficult to forge and can be interesting to grade.

 5.    Utilize test administration features

Consider ProProfs Quiz Maker features, which offer options for various types of questions, the ability include media, font and display options, as well as security.

Create a test bank, or library, with many questions, then use the administration features to pool from that library when distributing tests. This will save you time in creating alternate versions of a test in traditional form.

6.    Take precautions to avoid cheating

Cheating is a reality of any age in any course at any school. While it is good to think a student won’t cheat, it is also prudent to take precautions so they can’t.

ProProfs Quiz Maker has many options to help prevent cheating. For more information on this topic see Preventing Academic Dishonesty in Online Exams and Essential Ways to Prevent Cheating in Online Assessments.


While some of these ideas may be things you’ve already considered, take the time to go over them again with the online assessment in mind. You may find you need to make some changes, either significant or subtle to your quiz and test creation and administration.