Assess Now & Later

Provided by guest blogger, Stefanie Gardner, graduate student University of St. Francis, MS Training and Development program

An instructor needs to be thinking what the learner should gain from an e-learning course as they are designing the course.  The outcomes of the e-learning experience need to be outlined along with the course.  The assessing of these outcomes should be learner focused.  Assessing during the course allows for learners to receive feedback which will allow for a better learner experience.  The learner will end the online experience with a stronger concept of the material and a stronger online learner.  I think that in some instances that programs and learning institutions become too focused on the larger overall outcomes. 

In the article by Anthea Papadopoulou titled, “Learner Assessment in Online Course: Best Practices & More” (2019) states that assessment can be categorized as “formative” or “summative.”  Both assessment categories gather information but differs in timing.  Formative is as the course is happening allowing for learner feedback and summative is at the end of the course.  The assessment styles both lead to measurable outcomes.  The article goes into depth on formative assessment with many great suggestions on how to build the assessment into the design of the course.  I found the information that Papadopoulou offers in this article to be very informative and useful.  The information on assessment, outcomes and feedback would be a good place for an instructor just venturing into online teaching to start.  “Avoid the trap of looking solely at metrics completion rates” is a point that more programs and learning institutions should consider.  So often completion metrics are the most considered metrics for a program or learning institution, when breaking down assessment outcomes to view the smaller success and failures can be what leads to better overall success. 


Papadopoulou, A. (2019, December 2). Learner assessment in online course: Best practices & more. Retrieved from:

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