Allen Interactions Fri, Oct 02, 2009 7 min read

The Power of Self-Assessment in Creating Interactive e-Learning

by Carla Torgerson, instructional strategist

Often in eLearning, when learners answer a question, we tell them if they were right or wrong and give feedback. This can be a useful way to teach, especially if the feedback provides guidance on why the learner is right or wrong and how they could do better next time.


However, I’m a fan of having the learner self-assess. Instead of telling the learner if he or she is right, can you give the criteria you would use and ask him/her to self-assess?


Interactive e-Learning Feeback

For example:

Expert approaches usually include 1, 2, and 3. With that in mind, how do you think you did?


You can even follow-up with choices to which you can give different feedback:

  A) Great!

  B) OK

  C) Not so well


This is especially useful for longer text entry or more complex responses that would be difficult to program a computer to evaluate. (We can’t create artificial intelligence in our courses...)


This is useful from a practical perspective. But even more important to me is the educational advantages. When learners self-assess their performance, they are practicing the exact behavior we’d like them to be doing every day at work.  


Training your learners to critically ask things like “Am I doing this right? If not, what should I change?” will help your learners perform optimally every day.