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The overall assessment strategy is an essential part of the learning pathway. Assessment at the level of the course design is about broader strategies, rather than activities, exercises or tasks. The assessment strategies are reflected by the formative and summative assessment activities or exercises that are designed into the materials (see more about assessment in section 3.4 of this Guide: How will we know learners have learned?).

Whatever the mode of delivery, the principles of assessment are the same. There may be different techniques and applications available in technology-supported learning, but assessment still needs to be aligned with the course purpose and objectives. This is discussed in more detail under Materials Design in section 3.3 of this Guide: How can we help learners to learn?          


Learner Support and Feedback

Assessment support and feedback are built into the structure of the course. Most often in distance education this is done by means of contact sessions or tutorials, with careful consideration for structure and timing.

The way in which formative and summative assessment is designed into the materials to support the overall learning pathway that you have designed into the course is discussed in more detail under Materials Design in section 3.1 of this Guide: Where do we start?     


  • Look again at the Delivery Model for Support document that you saw in section 2.2 of this Guide. Think about the value of feedback on assessment to learners in providing this support (91KB, 1 page).


Design Review Questions

Think about these questions to help clarify how you will know your learners have learned:

  • How well does your overall assessment strategy align with the outcomes or objectives of your course? Are there areas with too much or too little assessment? Are there any gaps?
  • To what extent do the assessment strategies and approach meet the NADEOSA criteria?
  • What feedback strategies have you built into the course to support and guide learners in their assessment?