A Teacher’s Guide to Assessing Students Online Effectively

Experts predict that online learning will become a $350 billion industry by 2025.

Are you currently teaching students online? When it comes to managing a classroom of students online, you have to adjust to a different way of approaching regular classroom activities.

This includes staying aware of how your students are progressing. Assessing students online effectively can be a challenge, but there are plenty of tips to make your job easier.

Read on to discover the different types of online assessments that are available for teachers like you.

Test Taking

Just like in a classroom setting, online exams are an effective way to keep track of how your students are doing.

Online exams make it easy to test your students on the material and provide a clear assessment on which students may need additional attention. It can also help you find areas that the class needs further instruction.

These digital exams collect data instantly and can also provide a grade for a student as soon as they complete the test. This allows a student to remain aware of their own progress and performance throughout the class.

Discussion Boards

Another method for assessing a student’s classwork is to use online discussion boards. Students can work in groups on the boards or communicate with the whole class. They can discuss reading topics or you can assign a topic for discussion.

This is a great way to oversee class discussions and see which students are staying active in the class. You can also use discussion boards to have students present projects and elicit feedback from the rest of the class.

Teachers can interject or contribute to the discussion boards to help guide the topics or to offer further information or corrections. You can assess students based on their ability to show comprehension of the topics and the frequency of their participation.

Use the Digital Landscape

One of the benefits of everything being online is that students have many digital tools at their fingertips. For example, students can create videos to present their work or create websites and blogs to display a portfolio.

There are a variety of different platforms and apps that they can use to showcase their work. You can assess their work based on their creativity when using the digital landscape.

Were they able to share a project in a unique way that was engaging? While PowerPoint presentations are the typical go-to for presentations, there are now so many ways to share content in a more exciting way.

Share Real-World Experiences

Just because the classroom is online doesn’t mean all of your assignments have to be. Another way to get students interacting with their curriculum is to assign them real-world experiences. This could mean volunteering or interning for a local business in their community.

They can document their experiences and share them with the rest of the class. In return, classmates can join in a discussion about the student’s work and offer constructive feedback.

Students can present their experiences through video, audio, photography, and other forms of documentation. This allows students to participate in hands-on learning while also showing their understanding of the curriculum.

Essay Questions

Written papers and essay questions are another common way to assess students. This allows them to share their knowledge and what they learned. These can be done separately, in groups, or both.

You can also include open-ended questions that help students think critically and come up with their own conclusions. These are best done consistently throughout the course to stay on top of students’ comprehension.

You can also ask students what areas of the lessons were most difficult to understand and which areas they struggled with. This tells you what areas may need additional explanation.

Online Games & Puzzles

Not every form of assessment has to result in a grade. Offering online students games and puzzles to figure out helps take the pressure off. It’s also a fun way to engage your students and help them remember important terms and information.

For example, you can create a drag-and-drop activity that uses images and text to challenge learners. They drag-and-drop the different components to match them with the associated term.

You can also use crossword puzzles to help students memorize topics and prepare for exams. They’ll know what are the vital aspects of the lessons and what they’ll need to focus on studying. You can have students work in teams and compete on timed games to add excitement to a lesson.

Polls & Mood Surveys

You can ask your students directly through an online poll or survey. This is an easy way to gauge your students’ learning experience. This could be their satisfaction with the class. They can assess their own participation as well as their opinions on how the class is going.

Mood surveys are a great way to break the ice with online students. They share their feelings without having to reveal themselves. It not only helps you test the waters with your students but helps them get to know each other in a safe way.

Video Interview

When you’re teaching or participating in an online course for a while you can forget that there are real people on the other side of the keyboard. An online video conference call or interview can help you meet face to face with your students.

This can be used to check in with their progress and also let you assess their skills. You could have them show language proficiency, perform music, or demonstrate any pertinent skill.

You can also offer a preliminary interview to provide feedback for improvement before assigning a final grade. Letting your students meet with you face to face and even offering regular hours helps to hold them accountable for their studies.

Online Assessments That Work

We hope this list of different online assessments help you to narrow down the best ones for your online classroom. You’ll soon find that the digital landscape offers a variety of creative ways to interact with your students.

If you’re looking for more helpful ways to enhance education through valuable lesson plans and activities, then check out our latest articles.