You can’t learn to swim in the library. You have to get in the water and train. Likewise, your learners need opportunities to practice what you teach them and to assess their skills. Engaging your learners with opportunities to practice through activities and assess their learning through assessments helps provide a great learning experience.
- Practice activities are guided experiences where learners can apply what they have learned. It should be relevant to your course material and be real, reflecting real, practical experiences and applications of the course topic.
- Assessments are ways for learners to demonstrate that they have achieved course objectives. Assessments can be useful tools for them to check their progress, and learn which course concepts they may need to focus on more.
While activities and assessments are not required for Thkee courses, including them improves the quality of the course and often leads to increased student satisfaction and reviews on the course. We recommend that you include a mix of activities and assessments in your course.
Plan your practice activities
As a best practice, we recommend that you include at least one training activity for each section. Include activities in your course at the points where they make the most sense in the context of what you are teaching. You do not need to group activities at the end of each section. Add a clear title to your training activities so that learners can easily identify them. Continuously hint at your activities throughout the course to set expectations for learners.
General guidelines for creating practice activities
- Instructions: Provide clear instructions to learners. You can include instructions in both text and video. Describe the activity, its value, what the learners need to do, the expected outcome of the activity, and list the materials needed to complete the activity.
- Timing: Provide learners with an estimate of how long the activity should take to complete. Try the activity yourself and calculate that the learners will probably need 2-3 times more time.
- Examples: Provide examples. If you provide exemplary solutions, learners can evaluate their work by comparing it to the example(s).
- Materials: Make it easy for the learners to complete the activity by providing them with a workspace. This can be a form, a worksheet, or a presentation environment.
- Feedback: Ensure learners receive feedback. Encourage building relationships between trainees. Provide them with a checklist that lists standards for high-quality work. This leads to more and better targeted trainee interaction.
Types of practice activities you can create
A practice activity can be something you ask learners to do on their own, or you can use the tools we provide:
- Coding exercise
- Downloadable resource
Here are some best practices by activity type:
Assignments are activities that give trainees an opportunity to assess their work by comparing their answers to questions with your typical answers. It’s an excellent way to ask questions about case studies, get trainees to respond to scenarios, or find and fix a bug. Learn more about creating assignments.
Coding exercises are interactive activities that you can add to your coding courses and are built into Thkee so that trainees can get hands-on programming experience. Trainees enter the code directly on the page and run the task without switching programs or screens. The exercises also provide hints for learners when they make a mistake so that they can correct the error and move forward with coding. Learn more about coding exercises for each specific language.
Adding downloadable resources and links to lectures is a great way to share exercise activities in the form of worksheets, templates, demo environments, and references. Learn more about adding resources to lectures.
General guidelines for creating assessments
There are two types of assessments: formative and summative.
Formative assessments take place during the course. Learners can use these assessments to gauge their understanding of course topics and revisit previous lectures if necessary. A short quiz at the end of a lecture is an example of a formative assessment.
Summative assessments are conducted at the end of the course to assess whether learners have achieved the learning objectives. A practice test at the end of the course is an example of a final assessment.
When planning your course, think about the main concepts and points of the course. When it is useful to have learners verify their knowledge through formative assessment and measure their achievement of course objectives through final assessment.
Types of assessments you can create
Here are some types of assessments you can build in your course:
- Practice test
- Capstone project
Here are some best practices by type:
Quizzes are multiple-choice and best for courses that are fact-based. They are an excellent way to do a quick check if the students are understanding what you are teaching or to help them retain the knowledge. So you can add a short list of questions in between your lectures to reinforce the learning and improve retention. Learn more about creating a multiple-choice quiz.
Practice tests are longer and more robust than quizzes. They are timed and graded upon completion. Practice tests are useful if your course is intended to prepare learners for a final exam. So make it a realistic exam experience. Use similar question types, length, and requirements as the real exam that the learners are preparing for (like the SAT, GMAT, or certification exams).
Note: You can also create practice-test-only courses. Such courses must have a minimum of two practice tests. Learn more about creating practice tests.
Capstone projects are projects that learners create at the end of a course by putting the knowledge and skills they have gained to use to create something like a web application or a presentation. You can guide learners through the process of creating their capstone project throughout the course or provide prompts or guidelines at the end for learners to create it on their own. Aim to make the capstone project an authentic experience that reflects the kind of work a learner might do in a real-world situation. Encourage learners to share their capstone projects in an online portfolio so others can see their work and you can provide feedback.