Educational technology


The shift to successful online learning requires online assessment strategies that could facilitate the learning and teaching process and determine the achievement of learning outcomes. This study examined how students’ achievement was assessed in an online learning environment during the COVID-19 pandemic and how the College of Education (COE) responded to the shift to online assessment strategies. A mixed-method design using questionnaires and interviews was conducted to collect data from academic staff at COE at Sultan Qaboos University. The study sample consisted of (n=60) academic staff who agreed to answer the research questionnaire. Moreover, the researchers interviewed four academic staff who were experts in online assessment and teachers of practical courses. The interview data were analysed and corroborated with evidence from documents issued by the COE and SQU. The study’s findings showed that the academic staff applied various online assessment strategies to measure the learners’ achievement. The most applied online assessment strategies were individual projects, presentations, online discussions, and written assignments. The study also found that the COE took measures to enhance its online assessment procedures, including developing an online assessment policy, providing professional development programs, workshops and webinars, and encouraging its staff to conduct further studies to improve online learning practices. Based on the findings, the study suggested some educational implications and recommendations.

Practitioner Notes

  1. The study recommends that comprehensive needs and learners' analyses be conducted before a semester begins. Hence, the input data from this analysis should be carefully considered when designing and implementing online assessment strategies.
  2. A new policy for the online context is required to maintain the best advantages of online assessment strategies. Community of Practice can work collaboratively to apply and evaluate the new set of policies and guidelines and to prepare clear rules, rubrics and standards to optimise the quality of social assessment strategies
  3. This article suggests that academic staff apply alternative assessment strategies that allow the academic staff to observe students applying skills in real-life situations.
  4. Practitioners should implement various assessment strategies to offer students flexible opportunities to demonstrate their development, enhance academic integrity, and prevent academic misconduct.
  5. The measures and practices that College of Education put in place, including developing an online assessment policy, providing PD programs, conducting workshops and webinars and encouraging further research, are hoped to be embraced as a part of continuous improvements and professional developments to handle future emergency risks and to continue delivering sustainable education.