2.6.4 Quizzes and activities

Providing assessment within an online course is as flexible as the tools you have available to you. Our experience of evaluating learners in open, online courses with no tutorial support, shows that assessment is key to motivation and learning. When asked to rate how much they liked the various forms of video, audio, activities and quizzes provided through OpenLearn free courses, learners rated quizzes with feedback as most liked.

Some examples of how we have used the various quiz types that the Moodle learning management system (LMS) has to offer are given below. It is not an exhaustive list, but it shows the range of tools available within this LMS and that are common to others:

Approaches to assessment more generally are discussed in more detail in Session 6 and how to build quizzes in Session 7. While quizzes and activities are a subset of this, spending some time looking at how they are used in other open online courses as part of course planning will give you a sense for what you can achieve in the time and resources available to you.

As a rule of thumb, applying at least one piece of formative assessment – for example, through a short set of quiz questions for each major topic covered – will engage your learners in the subject and provide an opportunity to reinforce learning.