Have you observed that every successive generation is more friendly with technology? The reason behind this is because schools have been increasing their usage for improving the quality of education and training of students. One such field is online assessment in education. Here is a detailed discussion of formative and summative assessment in online education.
This assessment can be carried out using several methods, techniques and platforms. The purpose behind this is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of students. Schools that have adapted personalized learning use online assessment as a tool to implement it.
So, how is online assessment different from the usual way of assessing students? Let’s take a look at its advantages as well as implementations.
What is Online Assessment in Education?
If I were to give you a formal definition, I would say that online assessment refers to using information technology for digitally assessing students or candidates to obtain results.
In case of the educational field, the results would be the ability of a student to learn, how well a student has been doing and whether he or she is well prepared.
So, you may say this is a way of evaluating students. Due to the ease, convenience and flexibility that online assessment platforms offer, it can take place all throughout the year. This helps in giving individual attention to every student and also evaluate the potential of the batch on an average.
Now, the process has several techniques and categories. Here, we’ll discuss 5 broad ways of assessing students using online software and tools.
What are the Different Types of Online Assessment Techniques Used in Education?
Based on purpose and technique, we can categorize online assessment models into 5 different types:
This is a qualitative assessment of students that is evaluates the learning process teachers use. In a way, this is a feedback you take from students in the middle of the term. Since it is not a “test”, there many interesting ways of conducting it such as:
- Creating a forum that is open for student-teacher discussions
- Enabling group chats between students and teachers
- Conducting quizzes and surveys to take direct feedback
- Creating a blog where students can post articles and comments
Teachers use the results of this assessment to improve methods of teaching and learning for students. Upon understanding strengths, weaknesses and interests of students, teachers can know where and how to take the next step.
Quite the opposite of a formative assessment, a summative assessment is a way of evaluating the overall performance of the student. Here, you do not survey thee students, but you test them.
The analysis will help you understand if the student can clear his or her final examinations. You may say, that even an examination is a summative assessment in itself. However, the online assessments have a lot more than just exams.
Here are some examples of this evaluation:
- Providing projects to submit online
- Asking students to prepare & submit only ne presentations
- Make students provide you with their online portfolio that has the above
- Conducting online quizzes, tests and interviews
- Performance testing by conducting various activities
There are 2 ways of evaluating students – either you compare your students with each other or you compare every student’s previous performance with the next. The latter way of evaluating students is an ipsative assessment.
These are mostly applicable to summative assessments that provide scores on the student’s strengths and weaknesses. Comparing students with each other is no more given that much emphasis as it creates unhealthy competition.
This category of assessment has got a specific goal or target in mind. It is more suitable for summative assessments. However, formative assessments can also have specific criteria. So, if you want to assess mathematical skills of a student, you need to design the evaluation or test accordingly.
Quite on the contrary to criteria-based assessments, this is a more generalized evaluation. Even though it can be used for both formative and summative, it is more common with the former. The goal is to figure out general abilities, strengths, weaknesses and interests of students on a wide subject.
How are Online Assessments Carried Out?
There are many free, open source and paid software available on the internet that you can utilize for conducting online assessments in your institution. Even certain websites allow you to do so.
In the field of education, a combination of all the types of online assessments are important. The results of a summative assessment are a lot more reliable after conducting a set of formative assessments.
Teachers design projects, learning activities, surveys, quizzes and practice tests before the end-term examination which passes or fails a student. These internal evaluations ensure students do well in all subjects.
The Future of Online Assessment in the Field of Education
Online assessments are not just conducted for students in schools and colleges, but also in the professional field. In fact, there are paraprofessional tests conducted online that help aspiring professionals enhance their resume.
The reason why online assessments are gaining popularity in various institutions is because of the ability to perform them on a continuous basis. Updating the scores and results of students can become more frequent.
Hence, all schools and colleges have started adapting different types of online assessment in education one at a time. Has your institute missed out on any yet?