Practice activities and assessments

You can’t learn to swim in a library. You have to get in the water and practice. Similarly, your learners need opportunities to practice what you’re teaching them and assess their skills. Engaging your learners with opportunities to practice through activities and to evaluate their learning through assessment helps to provide a great learning experience. 

  • Practice activities are guided experiences where learners can apply their learning. They should be relevant to your course material and authentic, reflecting real-world experiences and applications of your course topic.
  • Assessments are ways for learners to demonstrate that they’ve achieved the course learning objectives. Assessments can be useful tools for them to check their progress and see what course concepts they may need to focus on more.

While practice activities and assessments aren’t required for Udemy courses, including them improves the quality of your course and often results in delivering higher student satisfaction and course reviews. We recommend including a mix of practice activities and assessments in your course.

Plan your practice activities

As a best practice, we recommend that you include at least one practice activity per section. Include activities in your course at the points where they make the most sense in the context of what you’re teaching. You don’t need to group activities at the end of each section. Add a clear title to your practice activities so learners can easily identify them. Name your activities consistently throughout the course to set expectations for learners.

General guidelines for creating practice activities

  • Instructions: Provide clear instructions for your learners. You can include instructions in both text and video. Describe the activity, its value, what learners need to do, the expected outcome for 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 factor in that learners will likely need 2-3 times as long.
  • Examples: Provide examples. If you provide sample solutions, learners can evaluate their own work by comparing it against the example(s).
  • Materials: Make it easy for learners to complete the activity by providing them with a space to work. This can be a template, worksheet, or demo environment.
  • Feedback: Ensure learners are getting feedback. Encourage community-building and peer feedback. Provide learners with a checklist that lists the criteria for a high-quality piece of work. This leads to more and better targeted peer feedback.

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:

  • Assignment
  • Coding exercise
  • Downloadable resource

Here are some best practices by activity type:

Assignment

Assignments are activities that give learners an opportunity to assess their work by comparing their responses to questions with yours. It’s an excellent way to ask questions about case studies, have learners respond to scenarios, or find and fix a mistake. Learn more about creating assignments.

Coding exercise

Coding exercises are interactive activities you can add to your programming courses and are built into Udemy so your learners can get practical coding experience. Learners enter code directly onto the page and run the function without switching programs or screens. The exercises also provide hints for learners when they’ve made an error so they can correct the mistake and proceed with their coding. Learn more about coding exercises for each specific language.

Downloadable resource

Adding downloadable resources and links to lectures is a great way to share practice 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 how well they understand the course topics and revisit earlier lectures if needed. A quiz at the end of a lecture is an example of a formative assessment. 
  • Summative assessments take place at the end of a course to evaluate whether learners have achieved the learning objectives. A practice test at the end of a course is an example of a summative assessment.

When planning your course, think about the key concepts and points in the course when it would be helpful to have learners check their knowledge through formative assessment and measure their achievement of the course learning objectives through summative assessment.

Types of assessments you can create

Here are some types of assessments you can build in your course:

  • Quiz
  • Practice test
  • Capstone project

Here are some best practices by type:

Quiz

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 short list of questions in between your lectures to reinforce the learning and improve retention. Learn more about creating a multiple-choice quiz.

Practice test

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 project

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.

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