Making Sure Your Learners Have The Knowledge They Need
My last blog post was all touchy feely. We looked at empowering learners by asking them what they’re good or bad at, and to subsequently use these self-assessments to drive their learning activities.
Are you an expert at business writing? We believe you. No need to take any courses and as an extra reward, we’ve added a shiny competency badge to your transcript.
Are you willing to admit you suck at project management? We love people who don’t feel a need to protect their egos (!) and as a reward are enrolling you into a project management curriculum that will make you a PM Jedi in no time.
With the exception of the occasional rotten eggs, people are for the most part fundamentally honest. So these self-assessments are likely to produce a good starting point to decide which learners should complete which courses.
Why Self-Assessments Don’t Always Work
Self-assessments are an important tool in the instructional design repertoire. But, they can’t replace traditional exams in all situations. Organizations that provide high stakes products and services, often in regulated industries, need numerical proof, in the form of a grade, that the learner knows their stuff.
I don’t know about you but I like the idea that the technician who’s doing maintenance on the medical device used by my local hospital had to do more than a self-assessment. He or she really may know how to clean that device but taking an exam proving that knowledge helps me sleep better the night before a medical test.
Just as self-assessments can automatically trigger subsequent learning events, traditional exams can do so as well. Tests can have minimum passing grades:
Passing or failing this exam can then automatically enroll the learner into two different paths. In the example below, learners who passed the exam are automatically enrolled into the advanced-level curriculum. Those who failed the exam are automatically enrolled into the beginner-level curriculum.
POWER USER TIP:
You can create multiple exams and place them into a curriculum. Each exam can then automatically enroll learners into the correct level training.
This can be an effective way to evaluate a new learner’s skills upon an initial entry into the LMS.
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