Higher education in emerging economies has taken advantage of several technology affordances for student assessment in the digital era. However, the use of educational technology remains an area of concern in this context because of unequal technology terrain. This issue is more difficult in distance education, where students live in and work in remote areas. Although distance education providers in emerging economies have started to adopt alternative student assessment strategies, their contexts often force them to continue using conventional assessment methods. Against this backdrop, through a pragmatic mode of inquiry, the authors describe a five-phase study in which they identified the student assessment elements in national quality criteria that are rooted in international standards. These elements were benchmarked against the practices at a higher institution, highlighting good practices and inherent challenges. The findings are discussed in light of the transactional distance theory (TDT), with possible implications for assessment in a digital era. Further research areas are highlighted.