9 Ways to Assess Students Learning Online

Since more learning is taking place online, teachers need to discover effective ways to assess students learning online to see if they understood the course material. And also, measure how much information they could retain.

Assessing students learning online is not a problem as there are several ways to do it, including online quizzes, interviews, polls, peer evaluation, forum posts, dialog stimulation, and lots more.

The main point is choosing the best method to understand where your students stand academically. Let’s take a closer look at each assessment method and how to tailor them to your student needs:

What Are The Types of Assessment?

Before diving into the ways to assess students online, you need to understand assessment types to know what will work better for your students.

We have two major types of assessment, which are: the formative and summative assessment. The formative evaluation that pops up during the lesson determines the student’s focus and how well they are digesting the educational material.

Facilitators can use this assessment to determine if the students were concentrating or got distracted during the course.

The summative assessment, which is known as the final exam, comes up after the student has completed the course. It evaluates the student’s retentive ability and how they can apply what they’ve learned in different scenarios.

What Are The Ways to Assess Students Learning Online

1. Online Quizzes

Quizzes are necessary when you want to assess your student on an ongoing basis. To know how well they are engaging with the course, you can set up a quiz at the end of each module. Assessments can be in the form of multiple choices or fill in the gaps.

You can choose to start a course with a quiz to know the student’s knowledge level, and then a quiz at the end of every model to assess how their knowledge has improved.

The benefit of using this assessment method is that each student can get a unique set of questions, so there is no room for cheating. Students can also answer straightforward questions in less than 10 minutes, depending on the number of questions.

Creating an online quiz

There are different digital educational tools online you can use to create online quizzes such as Online Quiz Creator, Interact, TopGrade, and so on. You can create questions for your students using the templates these tools provide.

It’s a simple and straightforward technique. And if you want to enhance this assessment method, you can include instant feedback to each question after they get answered by adding info slides.

2. Open-ended Questions

Another way to access students learning online is by setting open-ended questions. This assessment method occurs mostly at the end of the course when the facilitator needs students to give details of what they’ve learned.

It tests students’ ability to organize their thoughts and opinions to provide a comprehensive and coherent answer.

Open-ended questions are best suited for a higher level of learning as it requires critical thinking and composition.

Creating an open-ended assessment

There are also digital tools online that can help in creating this assessment method such as MyEcontentFactory (MCF). But note that you’ll have to review the questions yourself and grade the individuals based on what they’ve written.

3. Drag and Drop Assessment

The drag and drop assessment involves placing images and text side by side. Then, you ask your students to link the text to the image that bests describe it. It’s a fun assessment that students can take without feeling tense.

The assessment visually engages the students. They have to carefully look at the images before determining the best text to align them.

Note that it doesn’t have to be text to image. You can also make it text to text. It all depends on what you intend to achieve.

Creating a drag-and-drop assessment

You can use digital learning tools like Articulate Quizmaker 360 and Adobe Captivate 9, to create this assessment. Upload the images into the template and identify the answers.

4. Online Interviews

You can take an online assessment to a different level through online interviews. With this method, you can see how much of an impact your course had on the students.

Online interviews are essential for music classes where you might want to see if your course improved your students’ skills. You can also use it for other learning areas like language proficiency.

This method allows for immediate feedback and a more personal touch with students. Students can use the opportunity to ask questions and clarify things they did not understand while learning.

Creating an online interview

Digital tools like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype Meet Now, etc. can help you set up an online interview. You only need to create a schedule, communicate the time to your student, and send a link inviting them to the interview.

5. Dialog Simulations

You may not have heard about dialog simulation. But it’s one of the best ways to assess students learning online.

This assessment method is beneficial for individuals taking on a customer or client service role. It can also help students prepare for an interview.

After the course, the assessment can help students practice their responses and reactions to different scenarios.

Creating a dialog simulation

You can choose to create the dialog simulation using PowerPoint or through tools available online. You’ll have to make a script using the scenario you have in mind. Next, you’ll choose your character and location using the tool’s library or uploading from your personal computer.

Using digital tools like Unreal Engine makes the process seamless and faster. Provide your students with different responses they’ll likely choose.

6. Online Polls

Online polls are not assessments for grades. Instead, it’s for getting feedback from the students about their learning experience.

You can use it to get opinions from your students about your course. They can tell you what they liked and didn’t like. And then, you can use their views to upgrade your courses to what the next set of students will enjoy.

Creating an online poll

You can use digital platforms such as Survey Monkey or Mentimeter. All you have to do is choose a template and write down the questions and choices you wish to ask your students.

7. Game-type Assessment

Rather than using quizzes and other mundane forms of assessment, teachers can level up by introducing the game-type assessment to students.

Gaming assessments aim to test and develop the non-cognitive skills of students, such as patience and discipline. You cannot try these skills through educational materials, so the gaming method is the best.

Creating a game-type assessment

You can use digital education tools like Kahoot, Quizlet, Gimkit, Plicker to create a game-type assessment.

8. Peer Evaluation Assessment

In this method, the instructor allows students to review and evaluate each other’s work. Allowing the instructor to see how much they’ve learned and the approach they choose during the evaluation process.

Creating a peer evaluation assessment

Platforms like Turnitin’s Feedback Studio help students review and evaluate each other’s work using the instructor’s guidelines. At the same time, the teacher can monitor each person’s participation and feedback.

9. Forum Posts Assessment

Asking students to contribute to a forum post based on what they’ve learned is another way to assess learning online. Through this method, you can measure their level of understanding of the topic and how they can argue their points with their peers.

Creating a forum post-assessment

Use platforms like Educations, ActiveBoard, Kialo, and Yo Teach to create discussion topics exclusively for your students. Set the objectives and the rules guiding the discussion. Sit back and monitor the level of participation.


There are different ways to assess students learning online and various educational tools that help build the online assessment. You only have to figure out the best way to evaluate your students and head to the software and generate the tasks.

Do you have an online course you would like your students to buy? Check out this post on how to promote your online course.