I am Sameer Bhatia, the founder of ProProfs.com, an online learning community. Prior to ProProfs I ran an IT certification products company that has been in the business of providing e-learning centered around Cisco certification products.
3. What is your view of how best to assess whether or not students have achieved learning outcomes in an online course?
While content created using Quiz Maker (http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/) displays fine in most mobile browsers, we are in process of creating a special version so assessments can be distributed to a classroom easily via mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. Watch out for this in our upcoming version.
6. Are there any really bad quizzes or quiz styles that should be avoided at all costs? If you don't mind, describe a very bad (ineffectual or even potentially problematic) quiz and then compare it with a very good quiz. What makes the difference? What do instructors and instructional designers need to keep in mind?
One of the key issues we have seen is the choice between long/short quizzes. Educators need to choose the test style after careful consideration. Long tests have their place in education; for example, many instructors use them during mid-terms or finals. However, to ensure that students are understanding the material, short quizzes in practice mode (with answers revealed immediately after a question is attempted) work much better. These create a stress free environment and students feel encouraged to take the quiz repeatedly. The repetition brings remembrance and helps students master the subject. Using short quizzes in conjunction with larger tests for mid/end of term, have reported strikingly positive results.
With a lot of feedback from teachers we have built features to allow secure & timed long tests as well as short quizzes that can be run in practice mode with customizable results to make learning fun. Educators however need to choose carefully based on the learning objective.
7. Do you have any plans for the future?
Our next version will be available in just a few weeks. Key features would include tracking of who took the quiz, ability to store results and provide more customization of end of quiz results.
8. Please share the name of two good books you've read lately.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steven Gary Blank is a must read for entrepreneurs. The other book I read recently is Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson. While both these book are not directly related to e-learning, they have had a big positive influence on how we build our e-learning products. We have stepped up on our feedback loop with educators to ensure we build something that they totally love.