The Ultimate 3-Step Failsafe Assessment Formula

PulseLearning has a failsafe assessment formula motto, “To test the Right Objectives at the Right Level with the Right Question type”. In this article, PulseLearning shares how this motto translates into a watertight assessment methodology.

Failsafe Assessment: The Ultimate 3-Step Formula

Successful training solutions provide learners with new skill sets, knowledge, or the ability to complete a specific task. The assessment is the critical tool for finding out if the training effort has been worthwhile because the baseline is that there’s no point training your employees if they don’t gain proficiencies. So how can you accurately test abilities after the training? Here’s the ultimate 3-step failsafe assessment formula:

1. Right Objectives

An educationally sound assessment strategy starts at the very beginning. Robust learning objectives are like road markers that guide the entire learning journey, from determining the topics and content to include in a course to what will be assessed at the end. An effective learning objective states a measurable key action the learner will be able to perform after completing the training. If you don’t get the learning objectives right, your training can veer off track.

The first step in your failsafe assessment strategy is to work with an education professional to articulate your required outcomes. After clear learning objectives have been locked in, the training direction is set and the topics and content will cascade from there. Always let the learning objectives drive the content, not the reverse; writing learning objectives retrospectively is a common trap that leads to insipid assessments.

2. Right Level

So many assessments fail due to being too easy or too hard. Imagine as a learner you’ve worked your way through a module, feeling confident and connected to the learning material only to be faced with an assessment you can’t pass. What would that do to the psychology of your learners? It’s not that much better the other way around, where a learner might skim the content and then fly through the assessment. An effective assessment must challenge learners to engage cognitively to make a decision or solve a problem. Importantly, assessment questions that “trick” learners or trip them up are a complete waste of time.

3. Right Question Type

Fact: Not all assessment questions are created equal. The first and most important step is to directly link each question to a learning objective. When you know your questions are focused in the right direction, you can determine the right type of question to use. Each question must be supported by course content and be instructionally sound. There are many ways assessment questions can be approached and the power often lies not in the functionality, such as multiple choice or true/false, but in clever contextual framing. Creating relevant, real-life situations as stimuli for a series of questions to follow is one example of effective questioning. Assessment questions book end the learning process, so choosing them appropriately can be the difference between knowledge lost and knowledge retained.

Final Word 

Are your learners walking away from training with the right skills or knowledge? PulseLearning can help you develop an educationally sound assessment strategy to ensure the right information is learned, tested, and retained. PulseLearning is an award-winning global learning provider experienced in learning consultancy and developing engaging and innovative eLearning and blended learning solutions.

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