Evaluating Your Learners
The end goal of a learning initiative is to effectively transfer information to learners in a way that is engaging and allows for the retention of the information that is delivered. How we tie in objectives to content is often based on the key takeaways that we would like learners to have from the learning.
Being able to assess the efficacy of a course can often be a difficult task. However, there are some best practices that can be followed to help ensure that the evaluation tools employed work towards attaining the overall learning objectives with an elearning module.
Knowledge check points are an excellent way to quickly gauge if learners understand the content within a particular section. As well it serves to illustrate to learners, models or concepts which they should pay special attention to. It also allows for the reiteration of information without the pressure of a quiz or test, and without disrupting the flow of the course module.
Knowledge checks should align with learning objectives and can be as simple as multiple choice questions or a more complex branching exercise. What’s important is that they enable the learner to gauge their understanding of material presented. Knowledge checks should if possible be created not to be too difficult but rather to increase understanding and to promote higher order thinking among learners while taking the course.
End of course assessments should clearly map to learning objectives to increase their efficacy at assessing that the overall goals of the learning have been met. Tests are useful for evaluating learner comprehension of chunks of content. Learners are often required to attain a minimum score in order to pass. This ensures that learners that they have understood the key takeaways. In this way, tests are an effective tool for setting a level of training comprehension.
Tests ideally shouldn’t be too long and focused on the most important pieces of information that learners are expected to understand. As well, when creating tests, adding real life situations which learners can relate to can assist with increasing comprehension of material.