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This document examines issues and techniques related to assessment of online learning for adult, career, and vocational education. The document begins with an overview of the disadvantages of assessing at a distance and the issue of security in the online environment. The following aspects of continuous assessment are discussed: characteristics (careful, systematic, and planned); issues (pacing, feedback, and learning quality); and types of continuous assessment activities (ungraded activities and feedback built into study materials; self-assessment quizzes and tests; formal feedback on assignments from instructors, peers, or workplace colleagues or mentors; informal dialogues with instructors, peers, and others; and ungraded tests that prepare learners for graded assessment). Presented next are guidelines for making online assessment interactive by taking actions such as the following: comparing learner answers with correct answers and giving feedback; recommending remediation; and showing Web pages with more information on missed questions. The following activities of effective instructors in online assessment environments are considered: acting as a coach, mentor, and facilitator; communicating information; providing timely feedback; and being a team member. The advantages, disadvantages, and examples of the following forms of assessment are detailed: case studies; discussions; microworlds/simulations; electronic portfolios; and self-assessments. The bibliography contains 45 references. (MN)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Adult Learning, Adult Students, Career Education, Comparative Analysis, Computer Uses in Education, Courseware, Distance Education, Educational Practices, Educational Principles, Educational Quality, Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Methods, Feedback, Formative Evaluation, Guidelines, Informal Assessment, Interaction, Internet, Lifelong Learning, Mentors, Online Systems, Postsecondary Education, School Security, Student Evaluation, Teacher Role, Teacher Student Relationship, Testing, Tests, Vocational Education, World Wide Web

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Autor: Kerka, Sandra; Wonacott, Michael E.


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