Online assessment vital to remote learning

For learners and educators around the world trying to adapt and thrive in the world’s current chaotic state, integrating technology and remote learning has become vital to continuing education.


For educators like Canada Research Chair and Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Chair in Flexible Learning, Dr. George Veletsianos, while this heightened interest in online teaching and assessment is rewarding, it’s a familiar terrain for him as it’s a path he’s followed for more than a decade now.

It’s part of this path that he’s sharing with 75 learners across the Commonwealth as they’ve recently completed a Designing and Developing Online Assessments course, designed to bring together novice and experienced instructors to explore together how they can all improve their assessment practices.


Sharing insights leads to learning by all

Dr Veletsianos describes his approach to the new course, emphasizing learners sharing their insights with their colleagues – regardless of their level of experience – as they explore the world of online assessments together.

“The course is grounded in the notion of sharing, as I’m trying to foster a community of practitioners to think together about how we can develop better assessments,” he says. “I wanted the course to be engaging and authentic – to focus on fairer assessments that center the student and their learning,”

He also introduces some of the lesser-known roles for learning assessment saying, “Ultimately, as educators we’re looking for assessments that enable us to not just evaluate what students learned, but also to aid learning, to foster student success, and to encourage progress.”

By employing this knowledge through a sharing approach, the course offers participants an opportunity to design an online assessment and share it with others in the class, whether they’ve ever developed an online assessment before or not.


Memorable discussions highlight course experience

The resulting conversations were highlights for Dr. Veletsianos: “My most memorable moments are instances of students encouraging one another, supporting one another, asking important questions of one another’s assessments and working together.”

The hands-on approach and the focus on applying guidelines to both individual and overall assessments when developing the assessment plan for a course are things that learners like Dr Bephyer Parey, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The University of the West Indies found refreshing.

“I’d definitely recommend this course to others,” says Dr Parey. “Assessments are an essential part of the learning experience and understanding and applying the principles of assessment design should be a crucial part of the professional development of educators at various levels.”

For more information on the Designing and Developing Online Assessments course, please go to: (click Log in as a guest).

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