eLearning and Interactive Assessments: Increasing Student Engagement

Touching a key labeled ELearning on a computer keyboard

With the advance of technology, students and educators have options outside of the traditional classroom experience. Online learning, or eLearning, is a fresh educational setting that provides more opportunities for engagement and sets the stage for an inviting learning experience. Interactive assessments through eLearning are also transforming the way learners and educators exchange information.

An effective online course ensures that varied learning styles are considered so that the learner remains engaged enough to complete the course. Since there is usually no instructor to guide the day-to-day activity, both the content and the related assessments must be engaging.

Interactive assessments are assessments that involve interaction on part of the learner. This can be as simple as an immediate response that displays “Correct!” or “Good Job,” but the most effective interactive assessments require the learner to participate in the learning process. When this is done effectively, learners not only engage in the processing of content but are able to test their knowledge of the content almost simultaneously.

Examples of interactive assessments in eLearning include the following:

  • Drag and Drop: Think of this as an advanced form of matching items. Learners are able to drag and drop their responses into boxes that are consistent with information provided in the question or prompt. These items may require either basic recall or more critical thinking skills in order to move answers into the correct boxes.
  • Scenario Click and Learn: Learners are shown different scenarios and have to choose the best response by applying course learning objectives. Interactive technology can be used through various required clicks to reveal information about the scenarios and key players.
  • Pick One: Similar to multiple-choice items, these increase learner engagement with the use of graphics, pictures, and clickable text as possible answer options.
  • Rollover Interactivity: These items present graphics and/or images that contain hidden information in the form of content or questions. Information is displayed immediately after the student rolls over the image with a cursor.
  • Text Entry: Here, learners are required to fill in the blank with anything from a single word or phrase to a short essay. This engages the learner by requiring the use of a keyboard rather than a simple click of the mouse. Attractive graphic design and visual elements can make these even more appealing to the learner.

a clip board with a checklist for assessments in elearning

Interactivity within eLearning or online courses is one of the most modern techniques used to reach learners today. Successful application of this interaction through the use of assessments creates increased engagement for students. It also offers expanded options for educators as they gather information about their students’ mastery of learning objectives.

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