Online learning courses are generally designed to encourage the student to learn in small chunks, developing practical knowledge along the way. Therefore, this way of learning may need a different method of assessment. The following are a range of different ways in which qualitative assessment can be used to measure learning.

Practical Demonstrations

Putting online learners into a realistic scenario can really help them to put the skills they have learnt into practice. This could be carried out using a role-playing task, where students are expected to imitate how they would respond to situations in their chosen field. You can recreate a real life setting online using Microsoft Teams, for more information on this visit the following blog post:

Deep Thinking Questions

A written assessment can be a good way to evaluate an online learners knowledge, however, the questions that are asked should encourage deeper thinking. This is in order to encourage your students to put themselves into the situation presented to them in order to answer the question. For example, a scenario based question such as ‘how would you deal with this?’ or ‘how are you able to present yourself in this situation’ encourages your students to think about their behaviours. This also helps you to evaluate which areas your students need extra support in. Further information on scenario-based activities can be found here:

Case Studies

Case studies can be utilised in a one-to-one setting or as a group working activity. If you can set up a case study that is based on a real-life event, this generally engages your students more than a scenario that is made up. One way to introduce a case study activity to your students would be to pick a case study that they are unfamiliar with, leave out the conclusion and encourage your students to solve the problem themselves. This is a great way to get an insight into their thinking before showing what they did well by revealing the actual conclusion.

Your students may spend hours behind their screens studying online, but in order for them to fully take in the information they must be able to apply it to their chosen field. If you would like any further assistance with qualitative based assessment, please contact

How to measure learning with qualitative assessments

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