8 Ways To Design Online Assessments That Strike A Balance

8 Ways To Design Engaging Online Assessments
Summary: Have you thought of creating more unique and intriguing assessments for your online courses? Read on for tips to design engaging online assessments, and see why they're important for a successful online learning program.

Designing Engaging Online Assessments

One of the struggles that eLearning professionals face is striving to create assessments that are effective in identifying the learners' strengths and gaps while also keeping them interested. Innovative assessments are more effective in allowing learners to show their knowledge and skills and offering instructors the insights they need to perfect their teaching plans. In this article, you'll discover tips on creating engaging online assessments and why they're essential both for instructors and learners.

8 Tips On How To Create Attention-Grabbing Online Assessments

1. Clear Learning Objectives

The objectives you set for your online assessments should be specific and measurable. You must set the record straight from the beginning, showing exactly what the learners will be tested on and what's expected of them upon completing the module or course. Also, the objectives should be relevant to the learning material and the general instructional goals.

2. Variety Of Question Types

You shouldn’t just rely on the typical multiple-choice questions. Instead, consider implementing other types, such as open-ended questions that require learners to write a response using their own words and express their ideas more freely or short-answer questions that require just a brief answer and aim to assess specific topics. Game-based questions that are interactive are another great alternative to gauge their knowledge and keep them fully engaged.

3. Multimedia Elements

Multimedia elements, like videos, images, animations, and other interactive tools, provide an immersive experience, which helps learners to focus their attention on the assessment instead of giving in to external distractions. Most importantly, though, multimedia elements can present concepts in ways that text cannot. For instance, images and videos give visual representations of concepts. Animations use simpler designs, helping learners understand more complex topics. Lastly, simulations give learners the opportunity for a more hands-on experience.

4. Immediate Feedback

When students receive feedback about their performance on the spot, they become more motivated and get to know the areas where they need improvement. Additionally, immediate feedback will prompt them to work harder and retain what they’ve learned more easily. However, there should be feedback both for the correct and the incorrect answers so that learners have a complete picture of their performance.

5. Scenarios And Case Studies

By showing learners real-world scenarios and case studies, you can evaluate at what level they can apply what they’ve learned in a practical setting. Make sure that the scenarios present learners with different perspectives and solutions. You can also encourage learners to work in groups to solve problems to make the process more collaborative and prompt learners to participate.

6. Personalize Assessments

Provide learners with choices regarding their assessment, or allow them to select the topics they want to be tested on. Also, you can use adaptive testing to adjust the difficulty level of questions based on learners’ performance. You don’t want them to be frustrated or, worse yet, bored because the answers come too easily, so make sure they are challenged accordingly.

7. Gamification

By adding game elements into assessments, you have higher chances to motivate your learners and keep them interested in the evaluation process. Also, gamification makes assessments more competitive so that learners have a sense of accomplishment once they've completed them. However, ensure that the game elements are meaningful and don’t distract learners from the assessment’s purpose.

8. Assess The Assessments

Before beginning the assessment process, test the type you’ve chosen with a small group of learners. This allows you to identify any issues or problems that may occur and make the necessary adjustments before you release them to a larger audience. Don’t forget to ask for feedback during the testing, including how straightforward the questions are, if the content is relevant, and how interesting they find the assessment. Also, you can evaluate whether the assessment was effective or not by comparing your learners’ performance with previous assessments.

Benefits Of Engaging Online Assessments

Increased Retention

Learners tend to stay more focused when they’re presented with interesting material, and engaging assessments have the same effect. Also, learners have opportunities to practice and apply what they’ve learned when presented with interactive assessments, so they can better grasp the material and retain their newfound knowledge. However, retention also applies to the learners’ participation since they’re more likely to continue attending lessons they find appealing.


The ability to choose the difficulty of their assessments is an essential element for learner engagement. However, personalization also benefits people with visual, auditory, or physical disabilities. You can design assessments that allow learners to adjust the font size and color contrast. This also makes learners feel more connected with the material and gives them greater autonomy when it comes to self-evaluation. Be sure to design assessments with mobile users in mind as well so that everyone can access them on the go.

Improved Assessment Data

By analyzing learner performance data, you can adjust your teaching strategy to fit the learning needs of your audience. Additionally, data collected from the assessments can help you identify trends and patterns in your learners’ performance so that you can make better-informed decisions regarding content development, setting objectives, etc.,

Reduced Cheating

Cheating can be reduced if you add randomized question sets and various question types. Also, you can design online assessments to prevent learners from accessing external resources or communicating with their peers while completing them.


Although it can be a time-consuming process, since you need to research the right approach and create interactive question sets, engaging assessments help you identify learners’ levels of understanding and their ability to apply concepts in the real world. The above tips can help you change how you test your learners’ knowledge and how they perceive the learning process in general.