Looking for a quick way to build some anticipation for a forthcoming course? Want to measure the effectiveness of your e-learning? Need to win over the skeptics in your learning audience? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, then a pre-test might be a good solution for you. Here are a few reasons why:
- Pre-testing can inform your course design. By sharing a short, stand-alone pre-test with your learning audience, you can assess their current understanding of the material to identify critical gaps in their knowledge or skills.
- Pre-testing can help you build buy-in for learning. Whether you’re trying to win over reluctant learners or just generate buzz for an upcoming training initiative, a well-designed pre-test invites your learners to a sneak peek of the course and serves as a fun and enticing way to challenge their preconceptions about the topics you’ll cover in training.
- Pre-testing can help you establish a benchmark. A pre-test can be a great way to measure how effective your e-learning course is by establishing a benchmark score you can compare to the learner’s final quiz score. If people’s scores are wildly different, you might be able to draw some helpful conclusions about the effectiveness of training. This type of data can also provide you with the evidence you need to convince stakeholders to pursue other types of solutions or interventions in addition to, or instead of, training.
It’s so simple, right? It's just a short introduction, a “myth or fact” quiz, and some feedback that ultimately guides learners to resources they can use to explore the topic further. And the best part of all: creating this in Rise 360 took minutes—not days or weeks!
Intrigued? Keep reading, because I’m going to give you the low-down on my entire design and development process for this project, including my rationale for choosing Rise 360 and how I created this simple, but effective myth-busting pre-test.
Why I chose Rise 360 for this project
One of the most frequently asked questions I’m asked about Articulate 360 is, “When would I use Rise 360 versus Storyline 360?” It’s a great question and one that my colleague Allison LaMotte addresses in her article, Rise or Storyline? Which One Should You Use for Your Project?
Personally, I rely on Rise 360 for content that I know will require regular maintenance, or in the case of my pre-test example, when it doesn't make sense to invest a lot of time or money in creating something totally custom.
The biggest reason I chose to create this project in Rise 360 is ease of use. Since I’m just dropping in blocks and customizing them with my content, my projects take shape quickly. And the ability to duplicate, remove, rework, and reorder blocks means I can be a little fickle with my lesson flow and layout—without fretting about lost hours of work.
So instead of sinking precious time and money into creating a custom-built pre-test, I can stay focused on developing the actual course AND end up with a beautiful-looking pre-test my learners can take from any device.
How I built this project in Rise 360
Now that you understand a little more about why I think Rise 360 is ideal for creating pre-tests (and loads of other types of content, too!), let’s talk about how I created this project. As I mentioned, this pre-test didn’t take me very long to make, so I’m going to include the “design thinking” that went into it, just to give you a fuller picture of what was involved. Let’s walk through it all step by step.
Gather and Analyze Source Material
Before I even opened up Rise 360 in my web browser, I took some time to gather and analyze potential source material through the lens of my learning objectives. Since my topic of employee engagement strategies is a popular one, I didn’t lack for good content. That meant I could spend most of my prep time reading, learning, and taking notes about the bits and pieces of material I found.
Write the Quiz Questions and Feedback
In this case, I decided to take a myth-busting approach with my content to challenge my learner’s preconceptions about what really engages their employees. That led me to the idea of creating a quiz that frames every question as a multiple-choice “myth or fact” question. I wrote my quiz question and feedback in a Google doc. And since I had so much great source material to work with, I made sure to write in-depth answer feedback that would display no matter the answer option they chose. That way if they answered correctly, they could see feedback and resources that validated their thinking, and if they answered incorrectly, they’d hopefully learn something new before they even took my future course!
Start Building in Rise 360
Once I had my key content nailed down and my design vision in place, I was ready to jump into Rise 360 and start creating! Creating my project broke down into five steps.
- Outline the project. I created an outline of my project right in Rise 360, simply by adding a lesson, a quiz, and another lesson. My idea was to make a little quiz sandwich with a lesson introducing the topic and setting expectations for the quiz, the quiz itself, and then a next-steps lesson to direct my learners to relevant resources.
- Customize the intro lesson. I inserted an image block, a text block, and a continue block from the blocks shortcut bar.
Then, I spent a few minutes writing some introductory text right in Rise 360 and I replaced the placeholder header image with one from Content Library 360. Searching the keyword "passion" was all it took to find the perfect header image.
- Customize the quiz lesson. Since I had already written my quiz questions and feedback, creating the quiz was the easiest part of the process. I just copied the questions and feedback text from a Google doc right into Rise 360.
- Customize the next-steps lesson. Once again, the shortcut bar makes building a lesson so quick! It was just a couple of clicks to add an image block and a few text blocks to my lesson.
After I customized my newly inserted text blocks, I added three button blocks, one under each text block, by clicking the plus icon to access the entire Blocks Library. You'll find the button block located under the interactive block types.
Even though the quiz results screen displays the learner's score, I knew I wanted to reference that score and guide them to relevant resources based on their performance. I decided to visually guide them to these resources by changing the background color for each button block. Higher scores got a button block with a green background, mediocre scores got the button block with a yellow background, and lower scores have a button block with a pink background. To customize the background color of button blocks, click on the Edit button and select the settings tab. Here’s a quick GIF showing you how it’s done…
Since this project is only an example, my button blocks don’t actually link to any resources. But button blocks can be used to link to a webpage, to send an email, to exit the course, or to link to other lessons in your Rise course. This versatility makes the button block and the button stack block two of my favorites to use in my Rise 360 courses.
Adjust Global Course Settings
With my lessons and quiz in good shape, I turned my attention to making a few course-wide adjustments, like adding my own cover image and hiding the sidebar menu so my learners wouldn’t be tempted to skip over the pre-test. Both of these things can be found under the settings tabs in Rise 360.
To add my own cover image, I clicked on settings > theme and then I clicked on “Add Cover Photo” and chose “Browse Cover Photos” from the drop-down list. Once again, a quick keyword search was all it took to find the perfect image in Content Library 360!
While I was in the settings tab, I also made a few more small adjustments. First, I clicked on the “Customize Theme” button to change the accent color from orange to something muted—a nice inky blue color.
Finally, to hide the sidebar navigation menu, I clicked on the navigation tab and chose “No Sidebar” from the sidebar dropdown.
And there you have it: I went from concept to completion in no time! So next time you’re trying to come up with an engaging way to pique your learners' interest before training, or to benchmark their performance, try using a pre-test created with Rise 360!
Have you used pre-tests to make an impact in your org? What’s your favorite time-saving use for Rise 360? Tell me all about your experiences in a comment below. I’d love to learn from you!
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