Developing eLearning Assessments: 11 Common Mistakes To Avoid

Developing eLearning Assessments: 11 Common Mistakes To Avoid
Summary: It takes a solid eLearning assessment strategy to track online learner progress and highlight areas for improvement. In this article, I’ll share 11 eLearning assessment pitfalls and tips on how to prevent them.

11 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Developing eLearning Assessments

eLearning assessments must gauge how much online learners know, how well they know it, and if they can translate it to real-world applications. That’s a tall order, especially if you’re dealing with a complex subject matter that’s difficult to measure. Fortunately, knowing about these challenges ahead of time can help you steer clear of them altogether, resulting in more effective eLearning assessments that monitor learner performance and progress. Here are 11 common mistakes to avoid when developing your next eLearning assessment.

1. Vague Learning Objectives Or Outcomes

The main purpose of eLearning assessments is to determine if online learners are achieving the learning objectives or desired outcomes. If not, you have the opportunity to intervene by offering them additional online training resources to broaden their knowledge base. Vague learning objectives usually translate into vague Big Data. For example, eLearning assessment results that fail to measure an employee’s ability to apply their skills in the workplace.

2. Trick Questions

eLearning assessments aren’t quiz shows. There’s no room for questions that are meant to mislead online learners. The goal is to gauge what your online learners know, and even those who have a firm grasp of the subject matter can be tripped by trick questions. Avoid double negatives and other tactics that serve as distractions.

3. Lack Of Variety

You cater to different learning preferences in your eLearning course design, and your eLearning assessments should follow the same principles. Incorporate a good mix of eLearning assessment or question types to meet everyone’s needs and personal preferences. You must also consider online learners with special needs. For example, those who are visually impaired may require an auditory eLearning assessment.

4. Wrong eLearning Assessment Method

There are a variety of eLearning assessment types to choose from, but they generally fall into one of two categories: qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative eLearning assessments determine how much knowledge an online learner has acquired and how well they know the subject matter. A multiple choice or true/false test, for instance. On the other hand, qualitative eLearning assessments indicate whether they are able to actually apply the information to achieve goals and solve problems. For example, a branching scenario or eLearning simulation requires online learners to use their skills and pre-existing knowledge to complete the task. The eLearning assessment method must align with your learning objectives in order to give you the answers you seek.

5. Not Using Question Templates

Question templates are great time savers. More importantly, they allow you to keep your eLearning assessments consistent. You’re able to follow a specific format so that online learners know what to expect. Thus, they can focus on the questions instead of trying to decipher the eLearning assessment structure. A variety of rapid eLearning authoring tools have built-in question templates, or you can create one from scratch.

6. Switching Up The Response Format

Online learners should be able to answer the question if they know the information. However, changing the response format halfway through the exam tends to confuse even the most knowledgeable online learners. Stick with one specific layout so that online learners know how to respond and there isn’t any confusion.

7. Not Providing Clear Instructions

Every eLearning assessment must begin with explicit instructions that online learners can easily follow. This includes how to navigate the LMS platform and answer each question. For example, they will use the arrows to move onto the next page, and click the "Submit" button when they are comfortable with their response choice. You might also consider a brief test-taking online training tutorial, which is particularly useful for online learners who aren’t tech-savvy or may be new to eLearning.

8. Giving Away The Information

We’ve all taken at least one exam that made it too easy to answer the questions. Mainly because the responses were part of another question. The answer was given away before we even had a chance to test our knowledge. Have a fresh set of eyes to review the eLearning assessment beforehand to ensure that it’s free of info giveaways.

9. Ineffective Grading Criteria

Online learners don’t know how they are being graded because you don’t have effective eLearning assessment criteria in place. This also makes it difficult for your eLearning team to measure the results and identify patterns, as they aren’t quite sure what they’re looking for when reviewing the data. Be clear about how you are going to evaluate online learners and what they need to do to receive a passing grade.

10. Creating A Novel Instead Of An eLearning Assessment

This is a two-part mistake that can significantly diminish the quality of your data. The first is including too much text. Bear in mind that some online learners may speak English as a second language or have special needs, such as dyslexia. Long-text passages or questions may confuse or frustrate online learners before they even get around to the response section. The second is writing multi-page eLearning assessments that take too much time to complete. For example, online learners have to set aside an hour just to finish the exam. Busy, modern learners simply don’t have time for bulky eLearning assessments. Instead, break them into smaller quizzes that test individual topics or skills.

11. Absent eLearning Feedback

Follow each eLearning assessment with immediate constructive feedback and recommendations. Online learners should know which answers were incorrect and where to go from there. You can even use an automated LMS to assign coursework based on their results. For example, online learners who display certain skill gaps are automatically enrolled in eLearning modules or activities that address their individual needs.

These common eLearning assessment faux pas have a direct impact on your Big Data. Effective eLearning assessments lead to more accurate LMS reports, which give you the ability to continually improve your eLearning course design and the overall learner experience. Use this article to avoid the hurdles and effectively measure learner performance.

Is every member of your audience able to access your eLearning assessments? Read the article 9 Best Practices For Creating Multiplatform-Friendly eLearning Assessments to discover 9 best practices for developing multiplatform-friendly eLearning assessments for your next eLearning course.