How to use Exams for Assessing eLearning Performance

Assessment is one of the most crucial phases of delivering eLearning. Effective eLearning assessment is essential for everything from delivering formal compliance requirements to deciding how courses need to be improved. In this article, I show how exams can be used to successfully assess eLearning performance.


Depending on your objectives, assessing learner progress can be the most critical phase of delivering training programs. If you're working to meet internal or external compliance requirements, you'll need to formally track evaluation and assessment. Or you may be more interested in using eLearning assessment to measure course effectiveness for your own improvement purposes. In both cases, exams and certification can be very useful for motivating learners and assessing what they've retained after completing your course. In this article, I list some quick and easy ways to use exams to deliver successful learning outcomes.

One important consideration before we begin is whether or not to use packaged content or not. You can create examinations directly within most LMSs, using the tools within their interface. However, you can also create assessment within courses created using a 3rd party authoring tool. These tools create packaged content that can be uploaded to any SCORM or Tin Can (xapi) compliant LMS. For more information on SCORM or xAPI check out the technical help section of our blog.

How To Use Exams For eLearning Assessment

Exams can be a highly effective tool for testing learner knowledge. Trainers use exams to gauge learner understanding of course content and to reinforce key takeaways. The type of exam an admin creates usually depends on what they want to assess and their reasons for assessment. If you're interested in using exams to assess eLearning, consider:

Creating question pools

Using question pools is the most efficient way to manage content for multiple ongoing exams. An LMS should make it easy to group and store questions that relate to a specific course or subject, like "Health and Safety Basics" or "Introduction to Energy Efficiency", for example.

Using pools is a simple way to manage all questions that relate to a course together and edit the content of each exam as you need. Once you've created a pool, questions can be reused in whatever combination you like, for whichever courses you plan to assess. Using multiple pools on the same the course gives you some interesting options. It allows you to set up varying permutations for each course. You can have 10 mandatory questions from one pool and a random selection of 5 from another pool for example.

Selecting question types

To manage eLearning assessment well, an LMS should support a wide range of question types that can be added to a pool. Many LMSs allow you to choose from around eight question types, the most common of which are: True/false, pick one, multiple correct answer, image based, video based, list matching, sequencing, and fill in the blank. Most admins combine a number of the following in each exam:

When you create a question it is usually stored in a pool or bank of questions which can be labelled by topic or question type.

Exam Rules

After you've created a question pool, you can tailor each exam with a wide range of options, including:




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