pattern #1 - activity rating

Activity Rating Pattern


When a learning activity ends, a rating widget is prompted, allowing learners to rate how much they liked the activity. Results are gathered to evaluate what worked and what did not.

  • VALUE Measure Engagement
  • Design Effort Low
  • Share


As we all know, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. That is why the evaluation phase is essential in each eLearning project, although many times this step is overlooked due to a number of reasons (lack of time, no budget, small ROI for current project).
Moreover, in the age where our most basic actions over the internet generate hundreds of data points, the most commonly used evaluation method in eLearning - Kirkpatrick’s 4-Level Evaluation – is designed around learners having to manually input feedback through surveys and interviews. Using this technique, if you want to know if your learners liked your eLearning course, you need to actually ask your learners if they did like it. Just to have a look at other industries, Facebook knows how you feel by simply analysing your photos.
While Kirkpatrick’s 4-Level Evaluation provides a very solid framework for evaluation, its implementation is obsolete, mainly because we are talking about digital learning. In order for this process to be performed consistently and efficiently, it needs to be automatic.
This pattern is the first in a series of data points that can be gathered in a more automated fashion in order to evaluate an eLearning course


As evaluation is not an integral part of the learning process, it needs not to interfere with it. This is why the activity rating needs to have two characteristics:
      Optional (Learners should only rate an activity if they wish to do so) and
      Out of focus (the activity rating system should not interfere in any way with the actual learning content and should not distract attention for the learning process.)

Activity Rating Pattern

As learners will rate the activity at the end, it makes sense to display the activity rating when the activity rating is over. While a common implementation is to display a pop-up, it may be too intrusive. The recommended implementation is by displaying a footer at the end of each activity, and to embed the rating system into the footer.
Moreover, the activity rating is greyed out in order to be less intrusive and not distract learners from the learning process.

Activity Rating Pattern

As the activity rating is greyed out, in order to be discovered by your learners, it needs to have a hover action.

Activity Rating Pattern

Typically, learners will rate a lesson when they really like or dislike something. Those are the moments when they would also like to say more about it. If it’s bad, you really need to allow learners to input their feedback somehow.
This is why, if the rating is lower than 2 stars, a textbox is displayed to allow for that input.

Activity Rating Pattern

There are several ways of implementing the 5-star rating and I am sure each software development team will have its own ideas. Google Apps Script is one free and simple solution, gathering all activity ratings into a Google Sheet.
This should provide a solid insight on what worked and what did not worked in your eLearning design.

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