Assessment methods and strategies for online trainers

In the dynamic landscape of online training, assessment methods and strategies play a crucial role in shaping the learning journey for participants. But how do they work in practice? We'll navigate through traditional assessment methods and alternative strategies while also exploring the transformative impact of technology.

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Table of contents

  1. What is an assessment?
  2. Overview of traditional assessment methods
  3. Overview of alternative assessment strategies
  4. Technology and assessments

What is an assessment?

At its core, an assessment is a structured process of gathering and evaluating information about an individual's performance or understanding of a particular subject. For online trainers, assessments emerge as powerful tools for gauging participant progress, understanding comprehension levels, and tailoring instructional approaches in the virtual classroom. They come in various types, each serving its unique purpose. Explore the different types in detail below [1].

Overview of traditional assessment methods

Traditional assessment methods encompass a variety of techniques that have stood the test of time. The familiarity of these approaches makes them widely used in physical and virtual classrooms. They include [2]:

  • Written exams: A traditional method of online assessment where participants are presented with a series of questions or prompts and are required to provide written responses within a set time limit.
  • Multiple-choice quizzes: A popular form of online assessment where participants work through a series of questions. Each question is accompanied by a set of possible answers; the participant may choose one or multiple answers.
  • True/ false tests: A type of online evaluation method where participants evaluate statements and are tasked with determining whether each statement is true or false.
  • Essays: A traditional method of online assessment where participants are given a prompt or question and are required to write a structured, coherent response.
  • Presentations: A dynamic online assessment method where participants deliver oral presentations using digital slides or multimedia tools.


  • Familiarity: Traditional assessment methods are well-known to online trainers and participants, fostering a sense of comfort and predictability.
  • Ease of administration: These methods are often straightforward, requiring minimal technological infrastructure.
  • Standardization: This allows for standardized evaluation. It’s consequently easier to compare results across a large population.
Traditional assessment methods are well-known to online trainers and participants, fostering a sense of comfort and predictability


  • Limited practical application: They may struggle to assess the real-world application of knowledge and practical skills.
  • Cheating concerns: The risk of cheating, especially in online environments, poses a significant challenge to the integrity of traditional assessments.
  • One-size-fits-all approach: They may not cater to diverse learning styles and can be less adaptive to individual needs. 

Overview of alternative assessment strategies

Alternative assessment strategies go beyond the traditional realms of exams and quizzes to provide a holistic understanding of participants' abilities. The focus is on real-world application, critical thinking, and collaborative skills, making them particularly relevant in the context of online training. These strategies encompass diverse methods, including [3]:

  • Group projects: An alternative assessment method where participants collaborate in small teams to complete a specific task or project.
  • Case studies: This type of assessment presents participants with real-life scenarios or situations for analysis and problem-solving.
  • Portfolios: These allow participants to compile and showcase their work over a period of time.
  • Reflective journals: These encourage participants to regularly record their thoughts, observations, and reflections on their learning experiences.
  • Podcasts: An innovative alternative assessment method that involves the creation of audio recordings on specific topics or themes relevant to the course.
Alternative assessment strategies go beyond the traditional realms of exams and quizzes to provide a holistic understanding of participants' abilities


  • Real-world application: Alternative strategies often mirror real-world scenarios. This allows participants to apply their knowledge in practical contexts.
  • Holistic evaluation: These methods provide a more comprehensive view of participants' capabilities, considering not only their knowledge but also their creativity, critical thinking, and collaborative skills.
  • Engagement: Alternative assessment strategies can be more engaging for participants, often involving interactive and hands-on activities.


  • Time-consuming evaluation: Assessing alternative strategies, especially those involving projects or portfolios, can be time-consuming for trainers.
  • Subjectivity: Evaluating subjective elements like creativity or collaboration may introduce subjectivity into the assessment process.
  • Challenges in standardization: Achieving standardized evaluation across diverse alternative assessment methods can be challenging. This makes it difficult to compare results uniformly.


Successfully implementing alternative assessment strategies in online training requires careful consideration of various factors:

  • Clear rubrics and guidelines: Providing clear and detailed rubrics and guidelines is essential for trainers and participants. This clarity ensures that expectations are transparent, facilitating fair and consistent evaluation.
  • Support mechanisms: Offering adequate support to participants throughout the alternative assessment process is crucial. Clear communication and guidance help participants navigate the unfamiliar territory of these non-traditional methods.
  • Equitable distribution of work: In group projects or collaborative assessments, trainers must ensure an equitable distribution of work to avoid issues related to fairness and individual accountability.
  • Feedback and reflection: Incorporating mechanisms for feedback and reflection is valuable. This allows participants to understand their strengths and areas for improvement, fostering a culture of continuous learning.

Technology and assessments

The integration of technology in assessments is a game-changer in online training. Technology enhances assessments by providing interactive and engaging experiences, facilitating instant feedback, and enabling sophisticated data analysis.

LMS platforms provide a centralized hub for managing online assessments. Trainers can use LMS features to organize their training materials, distribute assessments, track learner progress, and provide feedback. LMS platforms also offer communication tools for facilitating discussions and collaboration among participants.

Use Easy LMS and watch your assessments shine!

Easy LMS is an empowering tool to create technology-enabled assessments. A user-friendly interface and robust features enable trainers and consultants to make assessments effortlessly. Our fully-fledged Exam Builder gives you many question-type options:

Import questions or build your assessment from scratch according to your needs. Of course, with the option of customizable styling!

Useful resources

  1. MasterSoft
  2. Cornell University
  3. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

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