Types of Assessments

Here is a list of common types of assessments used in an online course:

  1. Read / Watch & Respond: This type of assignment includes videos, podcasts, articles or book chapters that students must read or watch before completing a reading response. Reading responses can take the form of reflections, note taking summaries, or a set of questions.  Students are able to work at their own pace as long as they submit their response by the due date.
    • The Hypothes.is Social Annotation tool is a good way to ensure students do the required readings as well as encourage conversation and peer-to-peer learning.
  2. Research Papers: This universal assignment type needs little introduction.  The main difference in assigning research papers in an online course versus on-campus is the amount of scaffolding provided by the instructor.  Rather than having one assignment due date for the final paper, there will be multiple assignments throughout the semester related to the paper to facilitate students’ time management.  Related assignments to the research paper may include:
  3. Exams: Exams and quizzes in an online course can take a number of formats.  Traditional multiple-choice or auto-graded questions are best used alongside an open-book test policy.  The Canvas LMS offers a number of auto-graded and manually-graded question types to be able to create an exam or quiz that fits the course content.
  4. Discussion Boards: Perhaps the most known online assignment, the discussion board is the work-horse of online courses.  Discussion boards can be used for course FAQs, building community among students, as well as for discussing course content.  Dialog in discussion posts should be varied, instructors should model using text, images, video, and audio for discussion prompts and responses.
  5. Reflections: This meta-cognitive assessment type can take the form of public blogs and podcasts, or private journals.  Regardless of the medium, the goals of reflection may include:
    • Encouraging students to think about how they learn, what they do or do not understand, and what they can do to improve understanding as it relates to the course material.
    • Making personal connections between course content and lived experiences.
  6. Wikis: This is most useful for whole-class projects or group work.  Students can use a shared document to add to, comment on, or edit to collaboratively build their knowledge of course content.
  7. Presentations: When used for an online course, you are not limited to the traditional presentation format.  Types of presentations can take a number of formats, including, but not limited to: podcasts, infographics , live/synchronous presentations, short films, or social media campaigns.