‘Good’ online assessments could bring much-needed credibility to online learning

online-assessments-schoolsAs K-12 schools across the country begin to implement online learning, issues of cheating and lack of credibility are some of the main reasons why skeptics hesitate in supporting online learning—especially MOOCs.

The answer to decreasing cheating, as well as giving more credibility to many less traditional forms of online learning, is in good assessments, say supporters.

“Assessments are the lynchpins of [online learning],” said David Smetters, CEO of Respondus, a Windows exam creation tool. “If you go to a [class], it’s certainly possible to learn things. But when you actually take the assessments designed for it, you can demonstrate mastery of the content. An instructor then feels comfortable providing a grade…or some type of badge.”

“Assessments are the engine of this credibility cycle,” he continued.

Smetters also argues that if students are effectively assessed during a MOOC, lessening cheating, the credibility of MOOCs goes up.

Of course, now the question becomes, ‘What makes a good online assessment?’

(Next page: The must-haves of an online assessment)

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Meris Stansbury

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