Creative online knowledge testing: 4 ways!

Blended Learning

Testing knowledge is a very good way to measure the progress of the learning process. But also think outside the box, and consider these 4 creative ways to test knowledge digitally.

Testing knowledge with e-learning

Online teaching and online knowledge testing are two inseparable friends. After all, exams are a well-known form of assessment that are used to measure learning outcomes. When it comes to online education, certain forms of assessment are often integrated into e-learning. But, out research it appears that it is questionable whether exams really test what we want them to test.

Indeed, the way in which testing is done is quite paradoxical with what is required of a professional in daily life. After all, for many skills and knowledge, it is not important that you have them ready in an hour and a half, without any form of available sources.

In the workplace, for example, you often have access to a colleague who you can ask questions. Or to the internet, to look up a formula. In addition, you can also do the calculation yourself in real life with a calculator.

So it's a bit crazy that we expect students to have the knowledge ready without any help. E-learning, where the learning process takes place digitally, is progressive. It is based on great trust in the students, because they are left free to learn where and when they learn the course material. This flexibility makes it easier for students to connect theory to practice.

Because students are in their familiar environment, they are more likely to involve the theory from the e-learning in everyday matters. As a result, they form associations and make it easier for them to retrieve the course material. Puzzle pieces suddenly fall into place, something we also call an “aha experience”.

Unfortunately, these experiences are difficult to 'capture' in traditional forms of testing. In e-learning, the quality of testing is more important than the quantity. In addition, testing knowledge is a good guideline for identifying any missing knowledge and skills. And to adjust or adapt the e-learning so that the still missing knowledge is still offered to the student.

To ensure that you have the knowledge to make digital testing an unforgettable experience, we highlight a number of “out of the box” ways to test online knowledge.

Also read: 8 refreshing tips about teaching online!

Take an online test 4 times, but in a different way

1. Simulations of real work scenarios

Simulations are an effective way to test practical and experiential knowledge. Unlike traditional exams, simulation testing allows students to test skills and use resources in a safe virtual environment.

To achieve the best results, it is important that the simulation reflects reality as realistically as possible. The more realistic the virtual environment, the greater the chance that the simulation shows how the student would perform in a real work situation. In addition, it challenges the student to apply his or her entire frame of reference of knowledge and skills to the simulation.

So are you considering a 'static' make an online quiz? Don't do it, and breathe a little more life into the brewery!

2. Online group projects

As we described in previous blogs, the experience of connecting while learning is essential for success. Although e-learning is carried out individually, it is indeed possible to implement group elements. For example, students can discuss the subject matter with each other and thus show that they are actively participating.

But it is also possible to work on projects together. For example, students can make a presentation together. This can be done in a fairly traditional way, such as with Powerpoint, but you can also think of recording and editing a video to which all group members contribute.

This also provides a greater sense of connection because everyone can be seen 'live' on the video.

In addition, it is valuable to integrate a feedback element into the group assignment.

  • Is there a group member who stood out because of their contribution?
  • What are his/her strengths
  • Where else could he/she improve?

For this process to run smoothly, clear guidelines for providing this feedback are essential.

Are you looking for a platform so that you can realise these types of group projects? Then take a look at the benefits of Pluvo: our online learning environment.

3. Online forums and discussions

One of the most effective ways to “measure” qualitative learning in e-learning is to monitor students' contribution to the online forums and/or discussions. The e-learning coordinator or instructor can encourage students to contribute relevant input by starting the discussion.

This can be done, for example, by throwing a controversial statement into the group. Or by introducing a problem that students must find a solution to together.

The coordinator monitors the contribution of all students and pays attention to depth, quality, demonstrated knowledge and skills, and quantity (how active someone is on the forum). This can be done in a quantitative way (the number of posts and comments that a student posts) and/or in a qualitative way (for example, by connecting a test framework to participation in which learning objectives can be ticked off when demonstrated in participation).

Feedback processing is also an important skill that students can show through discussions and forums. If someone else in the group responds to their statements or contributions and then integrates this feedback into their contribution as the discussion continues, this demonstrates that the student is open to feedback and incorporates the feedback into their learning and work process.

4. Resolving problems through case studies

Take a realistic situation that the student might also encounter in their daily work. The easiest way is to use a scenario that actually happened in the past. In this way, you can omit the solution for the scenario and let the student fill it in.

For example, was there a customer who had a complaint? Describe the complaint and the circumstances and then have the student describe their approach, focusing on applying and describing the student's knowledge and skills (whether acquired in the e-learning or not). It is particularly relevant for the student to describe their thought process and thus clearly show how they arrived at the solution/approach.

As you can see, this way of digital testing a lot deeper than simply putting together a multiple-choice key. After all, if you let your students choose from a list of possible answers, you will never find out how they came to that answer.

Conclusion: digital testing

The methods described above testing of knowledge and e-learning skills are just a small selection of the many options. These practical and in-depth ways of testing knowledge and skills mean that not only trainers or schools, but also companies, gain qualitative insight into the learning processes of their employees. Based on this insight, they can even adjust these learning processes where necessary!

But how do you achieve a good test result? Of course, that all starts with the didactic and technical choices you make. In the following blog, Nico explains how you can encourage your students to make use of effective learning strategies, for a sky-high learning efficiency.
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