5 Ways to Assess Student Learning Online

5 Ways to Assess Student Learning Online

Technology has altered the traditional system of education, including online assessments.

Whilst traditional paper-and-pencil testing has its place, online assessment is a game changer. And while it may raise new concerns, online assessments also paves the way for a more efficient, accessible, and engaging process.

In this article, we’ll look at five different types of online assessment and how to implement them to support learning and evaluating processes.

Online quizzes

Quizzes are a common traditional assessment tool and they are taken in a number of forms, such as:

  • true/false
  • multiple choice
  • fill in the blanks
  • hotspots
  • many more.

One benefit of some formats of online quizzes is that they’re brief and simple to evaluate automatically. Another advantage is that the question sequence and alternatives may be randomly generated to ensure that each student’s exam is unique.

In addition, online quizzes could be set up so that instructors and students could get the results at the same time. This allows both instructors and students to quickly identify knowledge gaps and which skills students need to work on to improve themselves.

Open-Ended/Essay Questions

Online open-ended and essay questions significantly reduce the administrative burden of organising and administering exams. Traditional printing, distributing paper exams, and arranging shipments of completed scripts to instructors, are time-consuming and expensive processes.

Today, the instructor will receive answers from their students in the blink of an eye and will be able to mark exams anywhere without having to carry around tons of papers.

For some students, having to spend time and money traveling to a test center for a specific exam is inconvenient, especially if the exam is an essay that could take hours to complete. Many people would rather stay at home, in their favourite spot, sipping tea, and starting the test from there.


Drag-and-drop assessments are commonly used in online learning courses. It allows students to link information and apply knowledge to solve a practical problem. This type of assessment incorporates both images and text, providing students with a real-world feel that is both challenging and engaging.

There are three sorts of drag-and-drop questions:

  • Students drag words or images from a list and drop them into pre-defined gaps on a base image.
  • Students drag missing words into gaps in a piece of text.
  • Students drag and drop markers onto an area of a background image.

Drag-and-drop questions make learning and evaluating processes more interactive. Thanks to drag-and-drop interactions, instructors can create appealing and inspiring assessments that still effectively gauge students’ knowledge.

Oral Exams

At some point, an online oral exam may be a good substitute for a written exam. Some students are more engaged by oral exams, and they tend to be better prepared than for an online written exam.

An oral exam might also be done in small groups where interactions between individuals could be stimulated. It may also be combined with an assignment, for instance, a (group) report.

Today, many digital platforms such as Microsoft Team, Zoom, and Google Meet have convenient features for online oral assessments. Using an online meeting app enables both students and instructors to:

  • Schedule and share the exam link so that everyone can access the exam with a simple click.
  • Access from any Internet-connected device, no need for commuting.
  • Access computer files quickly to share information with students.
  • Save time from commuting and finding exam locations.

These programs also include tons of robust components, in which instructors can use the commenting tools to make notes on students’ work, download and save all files and records on their computers.

Forum Posts

A forum is a type of online discussion board that is arranged around a specific topic. Asking students to contribute to a forum post is an excellent way to assess their comprehension, spark their interest, and assist their learning.

When creating a forum post, students are often given a critical thinking topic based on a lesson or a reading and are expected to reflect on those while making a forum post. Their responses are placed on a forum, and their peers are given the opportunity to provide feedback.

Forum posts are commonly utilised when instructors want their students to interact, discuss, and contribute as part of the learning process while checking their comprehension of the topic.


Online assessment is a vital part of eLearning and should be undertaken with the same care as other traditional assessment methods. The ideal online assessment method is one that is appropriate for the learning requirements, objectives, and accessibility.

Sometimes, it takes time and adjustment to find the process that perfectly fits you and your students. However, once you’ve discovered the strategies that match your expectations and needs, learning will be more enjoyable and effective than ever before.