Before we jump into how cool digital assessments are, let’s understand why it is important to assess the learner as well as the learning. The learner needs to be assessed to ensure that they have grasped what they were supposed to learn. It also helps the instructor to gauge the knowledge gap in the learner and guide him to meet the intended learning outcome.
According to Dr. Lorna Earl, one of the experts in the field of learning, there are broadly three purposes of assessments.
Assessment for learning: This includes formative assessments. These assessments decide if the learner is ready to move on to the next learning stage. It gauges the understanding of the learners. There is no point in moving to the next level or topic if the learners are not confident of the existing topic. The focus here is the quality of learning and not the quantity.
Assessment as learning: In this mode, the learners monitor what they learn and adapt their ways to understand a topic. The learners should be informed about the assessment tools so that they are aware of how they are assessed. When your learner is involved in the process of assessment they are more engaged and invested in the learning.
Assessment of learning: This deals with summative assessments that certify the performances of the learners. The main focus is to check how much the learners have achieved at the end of the course. It quantifies the understanding in terms of grades and points.
Why use digital assessments?
This is the age of rapid evolution of technology. All facets of life are being impacted by the tech boom. How can education be left behind? The modern learners have been born into technology and it forms an integral part of their lives. If you want them to learn and upskill, you have to deliver learning in a format that they prefer – online. Most organizations have embraced eLearning as a part of their learning strategy. They find it more fruitful and cost-efficient to train their employees. And, if your learning is digital, the assessment should also follow the same path.
Here are the top four benefits of digital assessments:
Digital assessments mean there is no paper involved. So, no stationery cost involved. It also translates to a greener planet. Also, think of the time you need to spend managing the paper assessments – collecting it from the learners, keeping it serially, distributing the checked assessments and so on. Online records do not need you to invest in a space to store the assessments for record. All the data is stored in a server.
Online assessments come in several interactive forms. You can have multiple-choice questions where learners need to choose one or more of the correct options. You can build click-and-reveal or drag-and-drop interactivities. Consider using gamified scenarios to gauge the learner understanding. The more interactive the assessments are the more engaged are your learners.
#3: Instant feedback
In manual assessments, your learners would need to wait till the instructor or teacher finished correcting every paper before they got feedback. There is a lag between the learning and gauging their understanding. But, in digital assessments, the learners receive instant feedback. They are made aware of their strengths and weaknesses immediately. This ensures that wrong understanding of facts does not commit to their long-term memory.
#4: Less error
When you evaluate the paper assessments manually, there is a chance of human error. You can almost nullify it with online assessments. The questions are scored and recorded with the help of a preset algorithm. The chance of an error is minimal. You can pull up consolidated reports anytime you want just with a click of a button.
Digital assessments are in and are here to say. The sooner you adopt it in your learning strategy the faster you will reap results.
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