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Assessing Student Learning | Origin: EL115

This is a general discussion forum for the following learning topic:

Gaming and Simulation in Online Learning --> Assessing Student Learning

Post what you've learned about this topic and how you intend to apply it. Feel free to post questions and comments too.

  1. What complex of knowledge, skills or other attributes should be assessed?
  2. What behaviors or performances should reveal those constructs?
  3. What tasks or situations should elicit those behaviors?

I will use the games to asses student performance and as a communication tool. Short assessments or analysis can help to improve a game or support a struggle student.


Collecting data and techniques are great when used to assess learning in educational games and simulations in general. You will see who needs more help and address those students.


Using games to assess student knowledge and prepare for tests may reduce stress and encourage a fun environment.

Games can be used to assess knowledge and to communicate with students.



Pre and post tests are popular ways of measuring outcomes and indicators how learning can be modified. I rarely use pre-tests and feel it would benefit my students if I start doing so.

Games can help in low stakes assessment where the learner might be less motivated.

You need valid data to analyze in order to be sure if your students are learning. I also enjoyed the "stealth" assessments.

Several game metrics can be used to assess learing and skill acquisition. These may include time spent on an item, navigation for reference, decisions, number of attempts, or even biometric data. Epistemic Network Analysis (ENA) is effective at measuring  the competency trajectory using the first four of these items. Biometric data can be collected through electronic collection of changes in the face, skin, heat, and brain. 

Both of these measures seem to be somewhat beyond the abilities of most small instructional design operations, although e-learning development applications and LMSs may be able to provide reporting on scores, attempts, and screens visited.

Another downfall of assessment through games is the public display of low scorers leading to embarrassment. This is easily fixed by only displaying the top three on the leaderboard, letting everyone else access scores and rankings privately. Asynchronous games, where students compete against themselves for points or trophies could also solve this.

I've learned that I can use games or gaming to assess student knowledge.

The pre-and post test model is a system that my students are familiar with. I plan to utilize this model along with simulations to better assess they are learning off the content.

I have learned so much abut the research that supports adding games and simulations to the course to help stduents.

Also, I am curious to see how the intercative assessments advance in the coming years - as well as the

physical measures (ie EEG, GSR, and EMG feedback) - technology is amazing and it will be nice to use it more and more to engage learners 



I have to go with what Terrence Stone said about the pre and post-test assessment of the efficacy of gamification in the course.  I have been involved in online education since 1999 and as technology advanced always believed gamification was a great way to make the learning experience unique and engaging.  The days of reading static PDFs and answering discussion questions are behind us and are obsolete in my opinion.  My dissertation utilized a pre and post-test design to measure the effect of a learning intervention and I believe it would work well in this application as well.  The stealth assessment is also beneficial to obtain quality data on how the game is influencing the learning environment.  If course, we need to be careful about how this data is utilized and it may require going through the school’s IRB if it is to be used for publication and research.

One main challenge for educators who want to employ or design games to support learning involves making valid inferences—about what the learner knows, believes and can do—at any point in time, at various levels and without disrupting the flow of the game.

Skills evaluation is a growing area of game design. In my courses, I would look to use games to reinforce concepts and test their absorption in other ways.


Incorporate evidence centered design for assessment.

I was suprised to learn that games and simulations can be a great communication tool.


Formative Assessments monitor students learning and provides ongoing feedback to the staff and the students, while, Summative Assessments evaluate the students learning at the end of a course by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.

Online learning expereinces can be adapted to online learning to accomodated their learning.  Assessing learning is becoming increasingly easier as more programers are able to to it and educators are requiring it for learning opportunities.  Separation between the individual learner and the group leaning process is getting easier to do with certain programs which provides more quantiative and qualitiative assessment models for educators. 

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