ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Student Assessment in Online Courses

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This instructor-led, eight-week, fully-online course addresses various assessment formats that can be used for evaluating students in online courses. Assessment theory is explored, focusing on the applications to online education and the necessary adjustments needed when evaluating students in online courses. The course is designed to provide students opportunities to apply online student assessment concepts to their particular areas of interest in online course development.

Note: this is a paced distance education course that requires active and intensive participation in online asynchronous discussions and small group collaboration. It is not an independent study course.


The course is primarily for instructors and administrators interested in the issues surrounding student assessment in online courses. This is not a comprehensive course on student assessment, but rather deals specifically with the issues that are of most importance to online education.


  • Why should instructors assess their students?
  • What should be assessed?
  • When should assessment take place?
  • How can assessment be conducted?
  • What are the pros and cons of various assessment methods?


Module 1: Introduction to Online Student Assessment

Module 2: Appropriate Assessment Methods

Module 3: Evaluating Assessment Activities

Module 4: Designing an Assessment Report


  • Provide participants with an overview of strategies to assess students in an online environment.
  • Provide an environment where participants can share ideas and experiences related to online student assessment and online education in general.
  • Provide a model for educators who are or will be teaching online, and allows the educator to experience online education from the student's perspective.


  • After completing this course, learners will be able to:
  • Participate in online discussions with peers that encourage analysis of online assessment issues using theoretical, technical, and practical frameworks.
  • Demonstrate their ability to create a variety of assessment tools by completing mini-assessment plan assignments and other assessment activities.
  • Apply online assessment models to a specific learning environment by developing a final online course assessment project.
  • Discuss the major benefits and limitations of each type of assessment discussed in this course.
  • Choose to use multiple forms of assessments in their online courses.


The course is eight weeks in length and requires an online orientation.


This course requires Online Learning: An Overview or its equivalent as a prerequisite.


  • Complete assigned online readings.
  • Participate in online discussions.
  • Complete individual and group learning activities
  • Complete final project

This course is one of the four required core courses for the Master Online Teacher (MOT) certificate. You will need to earn a minimum score of 80% of the total points to pass the course.


The course has a modular structure consisting of somewhat separate units. Each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build on previous information. The course pedagogy is based on collaborative learning and group participation. Content is in the form of active asynchronous and optional synchronous chat participation, direct email, postings of materials, Web resources, and instructor notes. Content in the form of student participation in discussion forums and comments on the ideas and work of others will also be present. Links to outside sources are also required through which students will acquire more in depth information on some topics.


This is an intensive course requiring about 10 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending the individual's input, needs, and personal study habits.

Credit Options

Continuing Education Credit (CEU Credit)
8 Continuing education units (CEU credit) are available for this course.

Graduate or Undergraduate Academic Credit
This course can also be taken for academic graduate credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield. To earn academic credit, you must first enroll as a non-degree or as a degree student through UIS. Visit the How to Enroll page for more information.


Taking a course for CEUs:
Registration for this course is open to the general public, but there is a registration fee for participants who are not employees of the University of Illinois. The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. SA1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
"The more I learn about online instruction, the more I see what can be applied in the traditional classroom."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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