Knowledge entrepreneurs know the value of their work. A well-rounded online course can provide valuable information quickly and conveniently. However, these courses are much more than a set of slides, videos, or pages. To prove effective, a good online course also has to track learner progress.
There are many ways to do this if you rely on a learning management system (LMS). With this tool, you can instantly track your learners’ evolution. The platform does the whole job for you once people complete modules, assessments or the entire course. All you have to do, in the end, is check their results.
What types of tests can you use within an LMS to evaluate your learners and ensure that they understand the content? From traditional written assessments to quizzes, True/False tests, or games, the choices are plentiful.
Track learner progress with the help of your LMS
You just have to choose the type of assessment you find more engaging and suitable for your courses. After the LMS checks the tests, you can generate result reports. This way, you’ll get a quick and straightforward learner progress overview. Let’s explore all these possibilities!
By far, the most popular types of LMS assessments are quizzes. You can adapt them to any kind of course and field. Moreover, quizzes are extremely valuable in the evaluation process due to their simplicity and speed. Creating a quiz in an LMS can take as little as five minutes if you simply copy-paste the questions and answers.
To add a quiz at the end of a course or module, all you have to do is enter the necessary information in the correspondent section in your dashboard. Since there are several answers available, you have to mark the correct ones. This way, the LMS will automatically check and grade students after each completed quiz.
Once learners finish a course section, they automatically land on a page where the quiz begins. Then, they’ll see the questions and answer options and choose the ones they think are correct. It’s up to you to select the number of possible answers and attempts learners are entitled to. Also, you can set a time limit for each quiz to make it more challenging.
Read more: 7 Things that may be wrong with your online course quizzes
Games are some of people’s favorite assessments and a great tool for optimizing online courses. Games are one of the best ways to assess someone’s knowledge without overwhelming them or making them feel reluctant to or anxious about sitting a test.
If learners get to play a game at the end of the course, they will feel more relaxed, therefore achieving better results. Games are effective in training and self-study as they make the whole learning experience more engaging and memorable, increasing information retention.
Games come in many forms. Depending on the nature of your course, you can use a problem-solving game or one that focuses on communication or creative skills.
A couple of months ago, I helped a friend complete a customer service course in an LMS. The course was fun and engaging, but the final test was the cherry on top of the cake. Since there were different quizzes throughout the course, we expected something similar for the grand finale. However, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the final test was a game.
Once my friend began the test, the platform directed her to a new page, where she entered the game room. We first read the instructions. Then, she had 15 minutes to complete the challenge. Instead of answering questions on customer support topics to prove her newly acquired knowledge, she had to serve meals to different customers in a virtual restaurant.
The time she spent completing the game also played an essential role in her result. Overall, the test was fun and engaging. This showed me you don’t necessarily have to test a person's theoretical knowledge when you’ve got an LMS. You can go one step further and evaluate their practical skills with the help of gamification.
Read more: How to include gamification in your course design
Written assessments might not be the most compelling way to track learner progress. Some people find them boring because they remind them of the hundreds of similar tests they took at school. However, there are some areas where testing people’s writing skills is essential, and the only way to do this is … well, by asking them to write something. One good example is copywriting. People who work in this field need excellent writing skills.
A few weeks ago, I decided to take a copywriting course in an LMS. Of course, there were written tasks I had to complete along the way so that the course’s author could evaluate my copywriting skills.
The fact that I had a modern and user-friendly interface to complete my tasks made the whole process more engaging. Plus, written assignments are evergreen. They enable you to understand how well learners grasp the essence of your courses, which will help you create successful online courses. So, don’t shy from challenging people with a short written assessment every now and then.
Their writing style, word choice, or text concision will tell you more about who your audience is. Thus, written assignments can even help you better define your buyer persona and create well-targeted, high-converting courses in the future.
Read more: 4 Awesome examples of lead magnets to boost your online conversion rates
What to focus on while tracking learner progress
Now that you know how to track learner progress in an LMS let’s focus on the main aspects you should consider while doing it. As a course creator, understanding your learners’ evolution is essential to understand how effective your courses are. More so, this offers the input you need to create more engaging courses that sell.
Track the number of attempts
If you use quizzes as part of the evaluation process, you might want to grant people the possibility to submit answers various times until they get the right one. You can configure a specific number of attempts and even feature it on the platform so that they know how many they’ve got left while taking the quiz.
This can increase focus and make learners more engaged in your courses as they’ll be eager to nail the test. However, there’s much more to it. By tracking the number of attempts, you can also determine which quizzes are too difficult, lack relevance or clarity. Then, you can change or reformulate them to ease the assessment, make it more efficient, and increase information retention.
Ask learners to retake certain assessments
People learn at different learning paces. As a course creator, you should strive to meet each customer’s expectations. Someone who finds your course too complicated or boring is unlikely to buy another one in the future. To avoid this, use LMS assessment tools to deliver a personalized learning experience.
A good example is asking learners to retake a test or parts of it that were more challenging. To make this more engaging, use the element of surprise. Reschedule the test somewhere at the end of the module or course. This way, learners will more likely revert to the sections of the course they haven’t mastered yet in order to review their content and successfully pass the assessment. The bottom line — they will be more satisfied with the results and more likely to leave positive feedback and become loyal customers.
Add short post-course surveys
To understand learner’s perception of your courses, it might be useful to add surveys at the end of each one. The only downside is that people are often reluctant to participate in surveys as they find them time-consuming.
To tackle this fear, let them know from the start that your survey will only take five minutes or that it only includes a specific number of questions. This will make people more willing to participate. Based on their feedback, you will learn what to improve in the future.
Also, don’t forget to add questions about the evaluation process. This way, you will understand what types of assessments people like the most and what they find boring or irrelevant. Thus, you’ll be able to improve your evaluation process.
Use LMS reports to make data-driven decisions
Finally, if you’re worried you’ll spend too much time doing all of the above, don’t fret. With the help of an LMS, half of the job is already done. Once you add questions and answers to a quiz, the LMS will automatically grade them each time a learner takes a quiz. Then, to get an overview of your learner's progress, you simply have to generate a results report. In fact, reports are some of the most popular LMS features.
From reports on the time people spent taking a course to course completion rates, or e-Commerce statistics, there are numerous types of insights you can get from an LMS. Use them to gain at-a-glance information that will allow you to make data-driven decisions and improve your courses.
There are different ways to track learner progress with an LMS. These platforms allow you to easily upload or create different tests and challenges, including quizzes, written tests, or games. These diversify and enhance the learning experience by helping people engage with your courses and better remember their content.