Module 3 – Alternative Online Assessments

Module 3 – Alternative Online Assessments banner


Digital Media Assignments

In this module, we explore the use of digital media assignments in online courses as alternatives to traditional written assessments. While alternative assessments can encompass a variety of strategies including annotated bibliographies, case studies, discussion boards, presentations, problem based learning, and other non-traditional methods, we have chosen to focus our discussion on digital media due to its alignment with online course content and learning activity formats, which are also digital and multimodal. We begin by examining the pedagogical characteristics of digital media assignments, then move into practical planning and implementation considerations.

The material in this module adapts resources developed by Seneca College’s Teaching & Learning Centre, the Seneca Sandbox, Humber College’s Centre for Teaching & Learning, and the Humber Libraries Idea Lab to the online learning context.


Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss the benefits of alternative assignment formats to student success in online learning and the development of core competencies.
  2. Select appropriate digital media assignments that effectively demonstrate achievement of relevant learning outcomes.
  3. Apply best practices in online assessment to design, support, and evaluate digital media assignments.
  4. Plan a digital media assignment for one of your online courses.

Attribution Statement

This module was remixed from the original source. It was expanded to include original content and modified to focus on online assessment and feedback strategies. Adapted from:

Define, Design, and Deploy: Working with digital assignments and Sandbox assignment packages by Seneca Sandbox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Access for free at


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Rethinking Assessment Strategies for Online Learning Copyright © 2022 by Seneca College; Durham College; Algonquin College; and University of Ottawa is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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