Models of Assessment in e-Learning: A Mix-Method Approach to the Choices of the Trainers



Following a mixed-method approach, we have inquired 98 experienced trainers of e-learning courses about the method or model they use to assess learning outcomes and the reasons why they choose one over another. We have identified three core components of assessment: online tests, assignments, and online collaboration suggested in the online forums. These components are combined in five assessment models. The reasons why the trainers favor this or that combination of components and assessment models are mainly dictated by their previous experience using that model as well as by pedagogical concerns. They also express a diversity of other factors, which include the ease of communication to the trainees, the ease of use, and the trainee's motivation. When requested to reflect about their favorite models and about a few practical case studies, almost half of the trainers changed their preferences. In 42 out of 195 courses, the minimum criteria for the trainee's approval have been reinforced. Of the five models of assessment, the trainers massively selected three. Although the establishment of a unique model of assessment for all the courses was not desired, the company offering the courses now has five standardized models of assessment from which trainers can choose. Our conclusions can help trainers and training companies rethink their assessment models and the methods and instruments they use to communicate them to the trainees, so as to increase the satisfaction of the trainees and their perception of the quality of the courses.




9th European Conference on e-Learning, November 2010

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