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RESOURCE: How MOOCs and e-learning platforms deal with assessment.

The most basic way that knowledge or skills can be assessed is through short tests or quizzes in the form of HTML forms. HTML forms are the standard way for a user to sent information to a web applications server. The server can store the data and process it in whatever way is best.As this is the most common way of dealing with user data on the web it has become the most common way for e-learning platforms to manage assessment.The most common user inputs that we see are multiple choice questions radio buttons, choose-all-that-apply checkboxes and text fields. These are associated with a submit button which sends the information to the server which will tell you whether or not your answers are correct.Online learning platforms often rely on video lectures incorporated into the course. As a result, the assessment is often based around the video content. The assessment can occur after the video but often it is useful to interrupt the student with a question that needs to be answered correctly to continue. This can be most effective.In MOOCs, we often see that there is a singe question associated with a video and then a longer assessment at the end of a series of videos. These are often more involved and require that the student do some research or some calculations before being able to complete the assessment. HTML forms are normally used to capture the user input.

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Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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