Best Ways to Assess Student Learning Online


If you’re an online teacher, you’ve probably seen a rise in the number of students since the pandemic started. On the other hand, if you only recently started teaching, you might not be quite sure how to assess how well your students are progressing. Here are a few of the best methods that you can use.

Online polls

One easy way you can incorporate into your teaching approach is online polls. This quick method can be used during lessons and after, to do everything from test knowledge to let students be heard. Depending on the platform you’re using, this might be a built-in tool, but even if it isn’t, it’s not difficult to make.

Quizzes/yes-or-no questions

A more traditional tool than polls is a quiz. Quizzes come in different forms, such as fill-in-the-blanks, multiple-choice, and yes-or-no questions. These are easy to make and typically short, meaning that the students will quickly do them and you will be able to assess them fast. To ensure no cheating happens, you can randomize the order of the questions and answers so that no two students have the exact same test. Plus, you can also use a quiz prior to starting a lesson to assess the baseline knowledge of each student and adjust the curriculum or prepare them for a real exam.

Essay/open-ended questions

Contrary to multiple-choice questions, you can also use open-ended questions. This means that you ask students a question and give them space to write an essay-like type of answer. An assessment like this is very popular as it gives teachers a chance to see how good of an understanding the students actually have of the topic. They require more time to answer as well as to rate as you cannot auto-score them.

Game-like activities

You can also try some game-type activities to test your students’ knowledge. For example, you can try to create a trivia game that will be fun for students and not seen as a quiz. This approach has shown to develop skills like collaboration, risk-taking, and problem-solving. You can award them points according to how many correct answers they get.

Drag-and-drop assessments

Another method that can resemble a game is drag-and-drop activities. Some platforms provide you with a template where you can upload photos and create an assignment for your students. For example, they can be asked to classify photos into different categories by dragging them into the right column.

RPL kits

In case your classes require some previous knowledge, you can also use reliable RPL kits to see whether your students are properly prepared for what is yet to come. Recognition of prior learning kits contain assessment tools for all sorts of fields such as business, leadership and management, accounting, IT, travel, healthcare, and many more.

Dialogue simulations

Dialogue simulations are a useful method to prepare your students for real-life situations they will find themselves in after graduating. Whether it’s with colleagues, customers, or other people, they need to know how to act and apply what they’ve learned. You can grade them according to how well they perform.

Online interviews

No matter what you teach, you should be able to incorporate online interviews into your testing efforts. This is a method that might suit certain individuals better, as some people simply cannot express themselves properly in writing. It can be a conversation where you test their knowledge with various questions or a presentation that they hold with you and other students as the audience.

Peer evaluations

While this doesn’t have to influence their final grade, you can also turn the tables and put the students into your shoes. Have them review and comment on each other’s work. This will also give everyone an opportunity to reflect on how much of the curriculum they’ve mastered and learn how to provide feedback in a structured way. Use a platform that will allow you to share documents and show students what you expect from their reviews.


Take this a step further by having students assess themselves too. There are various ways how you can do this. Explain to them how to do it and show them an example. You should also teach them a few strategies for doing this. Keep in mind that this can be a very informal way of assessment, simply to see how everyone is progressing at a certain time.

As you can see, ways of assessing online learning abound. The best method is probably combining several approaches and readjusting everything as you go once you see what is producing the best results.

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