How To Make An Online Assessment

More and more universities are using quizzes to help online students learn and discover their learning styles. With Learning Management Systems (LMS), smart classrooms, and smart devices, it’s easier for teachers and students to participate in interactive learning sessions.

But if you think online testing is only beneficial for teaching and learning, think again.

Let’s look at some statistics and insights:

  • According to a LinkedIn survey, 59% of industry experts say that they use online assessments to evaluate candidates earlier in the recruitment process.
  • 76% of organizations with more than 100 employees implement online assessment strategies for external hiring.
  • “The more senior the role, the more likely the employer is to use [online] assessments to identify candidates with the right traits and abilities,” said Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, chief talent scientist at ManpowerGroup. 

So what does this all mean?

It means that online assessments have a place in not only education but also business environments. They are useful for helping organizations improve their hiring process, recruit the right people, and more.

And the best part is you don’t need to purchase complex e-learning authoring software to create an online assessment. 

You can easily create an online assessment with the Interact quiz builder—it’s a breeze. In this post, I’ll show you how.

What’s covered in this tutorial:

Let’s get started. 

What is an online assessment?

An online assessment evaluates a person’s specific abilities, behaviors, or characteristics. These assessments are conducted over the internet using web technologies. 

This type of online quiz can be useful for many purposes, including:

  • Testing student knowledge or determining learning styles
  • Selecting potential candidates from a pool of applicants 
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a quiz-taker
  • Identifying specific personality and character traits

An online assessment can combine many types of questions like multiple-choice, multiple-response, true/false, or fill in the blanks. With the Interact quiz builder, you can set up these questions for your online assessment easily. 

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Benefits of online assessments

Are online assessments “better” than offline assessments? Why do people love taking online assessments?

Traditional assessments or offline assessments like pre-screening, pen-and-paper tests, or face-to-face interviews cause many problems. 

First of all, you need to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars renting rooms, printing tests, buying grade books, and arranging invigilators. You might spend a lot of time sifting through applications, scheduling meetings with relevant candidates, and selecting the most suitable candidates.

With time and budget restraints, offline assessments are often just not feasible. This is why educational institutions and organizations have been increasingly using an online environment to assess students and/or employees.

Here are two major benefits of using an online assessment:

1. Online assessments help simplify the evaluation process

An online assessment comes with an auto-evaluation feature, meaning the system automatically assesses someone’s answers by comparing them with a set of predefined answers.

You can also invite people to take your assessment by simply sending the link or posting it on social media. The process of organizing and evaluating becomes more straightforward and efficient. 

2. Online assessments are comfortable and convenient

Forget about sitting in a chair at an assessment center for hours as an unsmiling invigilator watches over you. 

With online assessments, participants aren’t bound to a physical place. All of the questions and final grades are delivered via the internet; everything can be accessed from the comfort of home. There’s no need for public transit or to spend gas money—or even to get dressed! The list of convenience goes on and on. 

Can an online test detect users cheating?

The answer is YES. 

If you’ve conducted a final exam and suspect that a student has cheated during the test, you can ask them to take a short online assessment, like this med-tech quiz. Based on the student’s answers, you’ll quickly figure out if they’ve understood the learning material or not.

Now let’s consider online assessment for recruitment. 

Companies are increasingly using online assessments to find applicants that match their hiring criteria; these assessments are sometimes called talent assessments. They are used as part of a screening process that helps employers decide which candidates to interview. 

Applicants either take the assessment when they apply online, by email, or through the company website. Once applicants complete the assessment, employers can tell them if they pass or fail immediately. Applicants will then know if they should prepare for the next round or look for another company. 

Now that you know the benefits of online assessments, let’s talk about the types of online assessments you can create.

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Types of online assessments

Here are the five main types of online assessments you might encounter in online learning:

  • Pre-assessment or diagnostic assessments: Universities use quizzes to learn more about their students, so they can better develop learning and training material. This type of assessment helps universities understand their target learners’ strengths, weaknesses, skills, and knowledge.
  • Formative assessment: This assessment aims to monitor a person’s learning and provide ongoing feedback for instant adjustments throughout training or an online course. Formative assessments have low or no point value. 
  • Summative assessment: This assessment takes place at the end of a given period of time, like midterm. It’s meant for assessing what a person has learned and how well they have mastered the delivered content.
  • Confirmative assessment: This assessment is an extensive form of a summative assessment, and it is used to determine if previously given instruction has been retained, for example, one year later. It takes place some time after a summative assessment.
  • Ipsative assessment: The practice of determining a person’s progress based on their earlier work and helping them improve by comparing previous results. 

It’s worth noting that an organization may or may not conduct all of these online assessments, depending on factors like budget and teaching curriculums. 

3 practical uses for online assessments 

Here are three ways that online assessments have proven effective in real life:

1. Test skills and abilities

You can create an online assessment to see how well a person stays engaged with material, even when they’re nervous or distracted. This “How Much Do You Actually Know About Impact Investing?” quiz is a great example. 

Results from this assessment will score the quiz-taker’s general skills and expertise, which will help them grow in the areas they need to improve. 

2. Improve knowledge

A knowledge assessment is beneficial for anyone who wants to know where they stand in this regard. For example, if you’re a marketer, an online quiz about social media will reveal your level of expertise.

Some professions require employees to pass a specific knowledge assessment to become certified or to get a pay raise or a promotion. 

3. Understand personalities

A personality test is one of the most common assessment methods to help understand a person’s characteristics. Here is an example:

Since most organizations have employees from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, understanding differences in personalities is important. Personality assessments can reveal different personality traits and give clues into how an individual can work well with certain types of people.

What is an online assessment tool?

The best way to navigate online assessments in distance learning is to use assessment software. It provides you with all the features needed to create an online assessment. 

If you’re looking for this tool, give Interact a try.

Interact is a go-to quiz builder among teachers, educators, bloggers, marketers, and HR professionals. It’s quick and simple to create and automatically grade assessments, even if it’s your first time using the tool. 

With Interact, you can create two types of online assessments:

  1. Scored assessments: In this assessment, you set different scores for different answer options. You can reveal the answer after each question or show the final score at the end of the assessment. 
  2. Online assessments with correct answers: In this assessment, each question has a correct answer. Your outcome is based on how many answers you get right. 

In the last two sections of this guide, I’ll explain how you can create these two online assessments with Interact.

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How to make a scored assessment 

Each question in a scored assessment has answer options with a certain point value associated with it.

A person’s results will be based on the total number of points they receive after they complete the assessment. Typically, the more points they get, the higher their total score is.

In the Interact quiz builder, you can set up a scored assessment with specific point values for each answer option to customize the final results. And so, a scored assessment can be quite versatile. 

For example, among other things, you can make a scored assessment to evaluate:

Follow these steps to create a scored assessment:

Step 1: Write a scored quiz title

This is the easiest part of the whole process. A golden rule is to make your quiz title short, clear, and concise. 

In the quiz example below, the title “How Well Do You Make Diversity Work?” works because it makes clear what the quiz is about. It also matches with the scoring system of a scored assessment. 

How well do you make diversity work quiz cover

Step 2: Write scored quiz questions 

The next step is to create questions that keep your audience engaged through your scored assessment. Ask the questions that help determine how much someone understands about your chosen topic.

Here is a question example from the “How Strong Are Your Soft Skills?” quiz:

question about how you plan an event

Keep in mind the following:

  • Create 7 to 15 questions. Don’t go beyond that because you don’t want your audience to spend too much time on your assessment.
  • Use a conversational tone. Avoid academic and formal language because no one wants to take a test that feels like they’re back in school. 
  • Keep the average score around 50% so that most people can get around half of the questions right on your scored assessment. This way, your audience will feel positive and inspired to improve their knowledge. 

Check out these tutorials to learn how to ask better questions:

Step 3: Assign scores to each answer option

To set scores for answer options, the general strategy is to organize your assessment results, going from “lowest” to “highest.” Then, use this arrangement to assign points to answer options based on which one is the lowest value or the highest value.

Take the soft skills question above as an example. You can set the lowest score for the “Wing-it! You know the best spots in town anyway” answer option because it doesn’t show any collaboration skill in planning an office activity. If someone chooses the answer “Collaborate! Ask your colleagues for some ideas,” they should get a higher score because they know how to collaborate with others. 

Further reading:

Step 4: Write results based on scores

When creating quizzes, it’s recommended you write short and simple answers. 

But with a scored assessment, you should add more information to make the results meaningful to your audience. 

For example, explain why someone’s score is low and give them some resources to improve their skills:

Room to Grow quiz result

You can add this content within the Interact quiz builder, as shown below:

quiz result page in Interact quiz builder

Want to learn more about what you can do with Interact quiz results? Check out these:

Step 5: Assign score ranges to each result option

The Interact quiz builder allows you to adjust score ranges to match your scoring system, so your audience receives accurate results based on how they answer each question.

setting up score ranges in Interact

You can also decide if you want to display the score value or if you’d rather hide it. 

That’s it! You’re ready to create your very own scored assessment! Woohoooo!

GIF of woman cheering
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Tips to make an online assessment with correct answers 

This type of online assessment is practical when you want to evaluate someone’s knowledge or skills on a specific topic. It’s popular in education settings. 

We’ve talked a lot about how to create an educational quiz. Here are some detailed tutorials:

To make your educational quiz more effective in evaluating learning outcomes, try to adopt these best practices for creating assessments:

1. Pick the right format 

With Interact, you can create different types of quizzes, like a knowledge test or trivia quiz.  Choosing which quizzes to use for your assessment depends on your target audience and goals. 

For example, if you want to assess a student’s ability to recall information, creating a trivia-style quiz is a perfect choice. But this type of quiz may not be ideal for helping that student develop their critical thinking skills. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to constructing an educational quiz. It’s up to you as the quiz-creator.

2. Combine a variety of questions 

The most popular type of question in every educational assessment is multiple-choice. When asked for their test preference, most students also pick this type of online test


Because multiple-choice quizzes are easier. With a multiple-choice question, the answer is selected, not generated. Also, question and answer options often aim to test recall, ask for definitions, or have answers that can be memorized without being all that well understood. 

There’s nothing wrong with only using this type of question for your online assessment. But the truth is, if you use it over and over again, your students may start disengaging with learning material. 

GIF of talk-show host saying, "Boring."

To solve this problem, try to use different question types. This is proven effective in encouraging students to complete an assessment. 

3. Give feedback for each question 

Imagine a teacher responds to every student’s answer by saying nothing more than “You’re right” or “Incorrect” or “Excellent.” Imagine this happening over and over again.

Do you feel motivated to learn?

Would you learn anything new from that feedback?

I don’t know about you, but for me, the answer is no.

GIF of man with "NO" signs

Much research shows that giving students only correct or incorrect feedback doesn’t help them; explanation feedback is more effective. 

A research article published in the journal Memory, says:

Overall, right/wrong feedback conveys some information to the learner, but is not nearly as useful as being told the correct answer or having the chance to review the to-be-learned materials. 

In another study, researchers Andrew C. Butler and Namrata Godbole investigated whether feedback that explains the correct answer promotes the superior transfer of learning to new questions. Here is what they found:

The results showed that correct answer feedback and explanation feedback led to equivalent performance on the repeated questions, but explanation feedback produced superior performance on the new inference questions. 

Sadly, correct/incorrect feedback is one of the most common types of feedback used in online assessments. Many e-learning authoring tools even come with these vacuous statements as default responses. 

But that’s not the case with the Interact quiz builder.

Interact allows quiz-builders to add an explanation for each answer to give students meaningful feedback, like this climate science quiz:

incorrect quiz answer with explanation

When writing an explanation, don’t get bogged down in long sections of text. Keep explanations short and to the point or direct students to the resources they need. 

4. Use visuals to make your assessment engaging 

The human brain is mainly an image processor, not a word processor. That’s why visual cues like images help us better retrieve and remember information. 

In an article titled “Learning Through Visuals,” doctor Haig Kouyoumdjian shared:

[…] the many testimonials I hear from my students and readers weigh heavily in my mind as support for the benefits of learning through visuals. I hear it often and still I can’t hear it enough times . . . by retrieving a visual cue presented on the pages of a book or on the slides of a lecture presentation, a learner is able to accurately retrieve the content associated with the visual.

If that doesn’t convince you, here are some more facts:

  • The human brain can process an entire picture that the eye sees for as little as 13 milliseconds.
  • People following directions with both text and visuals do 323% better than those following directions with text only.
  • Using visual aids helps students clarify content, motivates them to learn, enhances their vocabulary, and more. 

So, when making an online assessment, remember to mix text questions with some fun images, gifs, or even videos. You can get this done easily in the Interact quiz builder. 

adding images in Interact

Create your online assessment with Interact quiz builder

Whether you choose to create an online assessment to evaluate student learning or employee performance, you’ve got everything you need to make your first assessment. 

It’s time to log in to your Interact quiz builder and put what you’ve learned into practice! 

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