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5 ways to get the best out of e-learning assessments

4 min reading time

E-learning assessments are a valuable tool at the disposal of L&D leaders, managers and HR teams alike. The right e-learning software will provide the functionality and flexibility to deliver a wide variety of assessment types across a number of use cases. If you’re looking for ways to get the best out of the assessment functionality in your e-learning platform, keep reading as we explore 5 ways you can use assessments to your advantage.


What are e-learning assessments?

Whether delivered offline or via an e-learning platform, assessments are used to measure and evaluate a learner’s skill base along with their competency and learning progress. With the help of e-learning software these assessments can be delivered in a variety of formats such as informal assessments in the form of fun quizzes or formal assessments that result in certifications.

One of the biggest benefits of e-learning assessments is the instant feedback they provide to managers and trainers. With an e-learning platform such as a learning management system (LMS), assessments can be graded automatically, and reports can be generated instantly – saving L&D leaders hours of manual administration. Automatic reporting tools means L&D managers can leverage assessments to gain insights into how well learners are progressing and whether they are gaining a good understanding of the content that they are being taught.

Assessments also benefit learners as results can be made visible to all, meaning they can gain a better understanding of their own learning progress, prompting them to review content if results indicate poor knowledge acquisition.

What is an LMS?


When to include e-learning assessments


Induction training

During the hiring process, employers will be privy to a candidate’s past work experience through a CV or interview. However, it’s impossible to truly know what skills candidates accrued in past roles. Once a candidate has been hired, they will go through an onboarding process and although this will naturally be role specific, e-learning assessments make it possible to tailor the process to their pre-existing skill base too.

L&D leaders can create assessments designed to gain a good understanding of a new starter’s skill base and highlight any skills gaps. Using the data from these assessments, employees can be placed on a personalised learning path ensuring they complete any mandatory induction training but also complete any learning that will help them close the highlighted skills gaps. With this process, learning feels more relevant to each new starter and ensures they don’t waste time completing learning on skills they are already proficient in.


End of course assessments

Learners will likely complete a range of courses or learning programmes throughout their education or employment, each with varying topic areas. To get the best out of learners and to ensure they have understood the content, many organisations choose to include end-of-course assessments. These assessments will pop up once learners have made their way through the course and serve as a final marker to work towards.

With e-learning tools, admins can create these end-of-course tests with a predefined criteria which determines whether a learner has completed the course successfully or not. For example, assessments can be set so that a learner will only pass if they answer 80% correctly, or they will be given three chances to pass the quiz; if they fail all attempts then they are required to get in touch with a trainer/teacher for additional help.

End of course assessments also offer admins and course creators valuable statistics regarding course pass rates. This may indicate that course content needs to be revised in terms of format, difficulty, or context.


Compliance training

Most businesses or organisations will be required to adhere to mandatory compliance regulations; in order to do this, they will likely ask their staff to complete compliance training. Ensuring that compliance training has been completed can save an organisation from being penalised, accruing costly fines, and in some cases can be the difference between a safe or hazardous workplace. However, it’s not always easy to ensure full compliance – particularly when compliance training is delivered offline. One of the best ways to prove that training has not only been completed but fully understood is to ask employees to complete regulatory compliance assessments.

compliance training e-learning assessments

E-learning compliance assessments can be completed after compliance training has been delivered and certifications can be automatically distributed to those who have completed them. These certifications can be used to prove full compliance to a regulatory body. For industries subject to regulatory inspections, practice e-learning assessments can be used to prepare for such occasions – giving employers peace of mind in the event of an unplanned inspection.


Refresher courses

An LMS such as Totara Learn has the functionality to record when a learner last completed training and deliver automated notifications to L&D managers to inform them that a window of time such as 6 months or a year has passed since completion. With this information, managers may choose to ask employees to retake the original assessment to check knowledge and subject competence. If an employee receives a low mark or fails the assessment, this serves as an indicator that an employee would benefit from completing a refresher course.

Alternatively, if a manager or teacher/trainer notices that an employee or student is demonstrating a lack of understanding on a topic they learnt a few months ago, assessments can be used to validate this concern and consequently action can be taken to rectify this.



Assessments can be intimidating for learners, particularly if they are required to demonstrate their knowledge and achieve a pass mark. However, e-learning software makes it possible to inject fun and light-heartedness into assessments with gamification. Gamified assessments can easily be created with the right LMS or integrations and with a SCORM compliant system, assessments can be sourced from a third-party vendor.

e-learning gamification

With assessment types such as game style quizzes or matching the word to the definition, learners will likely feel more relaxed and enjoy completing assessments. L&D teams will still be able to gather and analyse data in the same way that they would a standard question and answer assessment as reporting tools can be configured to relay results in the same way. Quizzes delivered through short microlearning courses are also particularly effective for bringing learners up to speed with precise legislation or small processes.


Finding a system with powerful assessment tools

Having explored just some of the potential ways your organisation can make the most of e-learning assessments, you may find yourself looking for an e-learning platform with the full range of functionality required to achieve this goal. Our Totara Learn LMS is capable of delivering these use cases and much more. From a powerful, flexible inbuilt quiz engine to the ability to manage and offline and online submissions or the certification generator which allows you to upload on personalised certificates – our Totara LMS offering has been designed with assessments in mind. To find out more about Totara Learn or our other e-learning platforms, get in touch with one of our e-learning experts today. If you’d like to explore what Totara Learn can do for your organisation – book a demo with one of our LMS experts.

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