Making use of Knowledge Checks
A common issue we’ve seen with elearning is that clients like to frontload all of the information they want to convey, and then put in a quiz at the end to ensure retention. This is not the most effective way to help learners retain what they’ve learned; a better flow would be to break up large chunks of elearning into clear topics, and insert activities into the breaks. Knowledge checks are a powerful form of activity to increase engagement and retention by immediately asking the learner to use what they’ve learned.
Knowledge checks are different from quizzes in that they aren’t part of a formal assessment. Their purpose is:
to give the learner something to interact with, and
testing the learner informally on the content so far.
This also gives you the opportunity to provide useful feedback to really fix the information in your learner’s mind, and gives your learner a chance to assess their own retention and progress.
When creating knowledge checks, there are a few objectives you might want to achieve with your learner, so there are question types that work to test for those outcomes.
Objective 1: Basic comprehension
If your elearning is about providing information and facts to your learner, you will want to test to see that your learner remembers this info. Multiple choice, true/false, and fill in the word questions test to for this kind of retention, where your learner will have to identify the correct answer or complete a statement correctly.
Objective 2: Application
If you need to test for your learner being able to apply the content they have just learned, long form answer questions and matching items to scenarios are short, easy ways to confirm your learner has absorbed the elearning and knows how to use it.
Objective 3: Processes
If your elearning has been teaching your learners step-by-step processes and procedures, the best way to test for understanding is to create a sequence matching question, where your learner will demonstrate that they know what the steps are and how to execute them in the correct order.
The important thing about knowledge checks is that they should be low-stakes ways for your learners to have a little refresh of the content they have just experienced, to give them a moment to think about the topic before moving on to the next one. These should not feel like there is any pressure to answer correctly, since that will be happen later when there is a full assessment.