Assessing online courses

Guidance and case studies on assessment methods used in online programmes.

Selecting assessment methods appropriate for online distance courses is not really any different from selecting assessment methods for on-campus courses, it’s just that one particularly familiar traditional option - the end of semester invigilated examination - is unlikely to be a viable option.

Essays, coursework, blogs and wikis

Distance courses can be assessed using projects, essays or other types of coursework, exactly like on campus courses.

Additionally, many online distance courses make extensive use of online communications tools such as blogs and wikis. It is often possible to assess contributions in these contexts either directly (perhaps using peer assessment) or to ask students to select from their online contributions during the semester and use this as part of a reflective assignment.

Case studies

Online options for assessment

For some subject areas it may be appropriate to use online assessment tools

Online assessment tools

It is also possible to use technology to act in the place of the invigilator. A camera can be used to verify that a remote candidate is the person who was expected.