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Assessing students is a necessary evil.
Assessment allows educational practitioners and or institutions to ascertain that content has been absorbed and has been understood by their student or employee.
Assessment gives students feedback on how well or otherwise they are doing.
Assessment allows teachers to report back to parents or employers.
However:

Many teachers find it tedious and time consuming. They often spend more time marking students’ work than the students spent producing it.
In many circumstances assessment interferes with the process of education. Students are taught what is being assessed rather than what may be important, useful or interesting.

This is where online assessment using a Learning Management System (LMS) can be an exciting and a sensible alternative for both teachers and students.
Online assessment need not be based on multiple choice questions.
When constructed well it can use other elements such as “type in your answer”, “drag and drop” or “highlight or select an area”.
Assessment can take the form of an online game.
It can have an attractive layout, using colour, sound and hyperlinks which all help the student to relate to the content positively and to learn from the assessment.
Online assessments can include hints for students allowing at least some experience of success.
And of course online assessment can be a form of reflective learning which allows students to see the correct answer instantly or once the assessment is completed with an explanation and/or a reference to further available content.
The benefit to the teacher is diminished if the student is required to type a paragraph or essay into a window, which the teacher then has to read and mark on the screen. The advent of Microsoft Office 365 and One Note Class Note Book is aimed to streamline even this type of assessment, particularly in the area of feedback to the student in the form of handwritten notes (using a stylus), a soundtrack or video of the teacher's comments.

The greatest advantage of online assessment is that it can be self-marking. It can be conducted at any time set by the teacher for any student in the class.
It makes a teacher’s life more pleasant and happy teachers result in happy students.

 

Please check out the Economists tab on the menu for a useful resource suitable for senior students. 

 
 

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