IT Teaching Resources

Effective online instructional and assessment strategies

A study surveying students and faculty about their perceptions of effective online instructional strategies

Article Research Promising practices

Title: Effective Online Instructional and Assessment Strategies
Authors: Jorge Gaytan and Beryl C. McEwen

Key points

  • Immediate and frequent feedback was perceived as a highly effective instructional strategy
  • Offering an array of types of assessments allows instructors to provide students with plentiful meaningful feedback

The purpose of this study was to better understand the instructional and assessment strategies that are most effective in the online learning environment. Faculty and students identified several strategies for maintaining instructional quality in the online environment, including the importance of using a variety of instructional methods to appeal to various learning styles and building an interactive and cohesive learning environment that includes group work. Online assessment strategies include having a wide variety of clearly explained assignments on a regular basis and providing meaningful and timely feedback to students regarding the quality of their work. Effective assessment techniques include projects, portfolios, self-assessments, peer evaluations, and weekly assignments with immediate feedback. The role of meaningful feedback cannot be overemphasized.

What would this look like in a course?
  • Incorporate more assessments into courses including projects, portfolios, peer-assessments, asynchronous discussion posts.
  • Consider providing more opportunities for ongoing and immediate student feedback.
  • Partner with a Teaching Assistant or Digital Ambassador to discuss course designs, integration of new technologies, and how new technologies support learning and retention.

Gaytan, J., & McEwen, B. C. (2007). Effective online instructional and assessment strategies. The American Journal of Distance Education21(3), 117-132.