Which assessment strategies do students prefer? — from facultyfocus.com by John Orlando


While most faculty stick with the tried-and-true quiz and paper assessment strategies for their online courses, the wide range of technologies available today offers a variety of assessment options beyond the traditional forms. But what do students think of these different forms?

Scott Bailey, Stacy Hendricks, and Stephanie Applewhite of Stephen F. Austin State University experimented with different assessment strategies in two online courses in educational leadership, and surveyed students afterward on their impressions of each one. The students were asked to score the strategies using three criteria: 1) enjoyment, 2) engagement with the material, and 3) transferability of knowledge gained to practice. The resulting votes allowed investigators to rank the various strategies from least to most preferred by students.

Interestingly, scores for the three criteria were remarkably consistent within each strategy. Students who found an activity highly enjoyable normally found it engaging and with a high degree of transferability of knowledge and vice versa. Moreover, traditional forms of assessment tended to score near the bottom.

The rankings provide a guide for any faculty member looking to develop engaging online content. Below are the different strategies grouped from lowest to highest in preference.