How do you Assess?

Hi All,

I'm interested in what assessment tools people are using for their elearning. Inparticular courses that have to meet unit requirements for qualifications. I mean are you using e-assessments or are you using e learning with manual assessments (i.e. paper-based assessment).

For e-assessments are you using basic quizzes? If so one at the end or multiple quizzes throughout? Or do you use scenarios which they have to get right to pass? What other e-assessment methods are people using?

Are people out there using e-learning for content with paper-assessments? This is where we are looking to go for our next course as it is a community services course and the assessment consists of question with paragraph style answers.

I'm just interested in what getting an idea of what people are doing in general.



4 Replies
Holly MacDonald

Kat, one of the courses that I've designed is for facilitation skills and has an assessment that falls outside of the course. We didn't care if they could comprehend the course content, we wanted to know that they could do it. Basically they take the course, have a bunch of off-line activities to do and at the end are directed to videotape themselves in a situation and send that in for assessment. I'm not sure what your community services course is about, but thought I'd share in case it gives you an idea of something outside of the course. 


Natalia Mueller

Our assessment process varies widely based on the course. To choose which one I want to use, I first decide (either myself, with a SME or the client just depending) on what we want the FINAL outcome to be. What do we want them to walk away from training able to DO. That answer helps guide the assessment decision and determine how much weight the assessment should have. Here are some examples of different things we do. All of these assume the need to track the training in some way.

Ex 1:

"They don't need to DO anything. It's a compliance course and we just want an electronic signature that they viewed it"

That will often be a super simple, "click here to acknowledge you have read and understand the above policy"

Ex 2:

 "It's not compliance related but we want to know they completed the course so we can track it"

This is not my favorite, but it's common. To me it says, we just want to be able to say we "trained" you. Sometimes that's just the reality so for these, I'll write an assessment (usually mult choice) based on the learning objectives, with realistic options. These are electronic and launch after the course.

Ex 3:

"They need to be able to DO X after the training. For example, use a new software, fill out the TPS report correctly, etc"

This one varies by how complex the objectives are. When they need to learn a new behavior, these are the courses where I build in interactions, scenarios, whatever I can do to support the objectives and help them retain the steps. The success of these are not tracked, just part of the instructional design and learning experience. We still include an electronic post test for measurement and tracking. These have historically been mult. choice and T/F type questions but we're moving towards Quizmaker so the test is no longer external. Either way, the questions included still support the objectives. If there is an important nuance or frequent mistake area, I write that into the assessment. This not only measures the learner's understanding, but also helps build on the learning opportunity.

When it applies, we will also add practice exercises that they print off and do externally. These are not measured, but could be.

Ex 4:

"They need to learn how to DO something that has a large impact on their roll or the company. For example, a new Sales Method or tool"

This can get pretty big and we'll do all different things from everything listed above to webinars and instructor led. Sometimes, in addition to the standard assessment at the end of each course, we will also create Case Study type projects on paper. These are things the employee works on over time as a development project. When they are finished, we go into the LMS and give them credit manually.

Of course there are all sorts of variations on all of this, but these are some of the main ones we use currently. If you are looking for assessment writing guidelines, Google How to Write an Assessment or something to that effect and you will get all sorts resources.

I hope this helps!

Catharina Olsson

Hi Kat!

We have used different types of assessment.

  1. Interactive activities and knowledge checks within the course. For example a quiz after a chapter/topic, in which the learner can demonstrate that they have learned what they were supposed to learn. Using feedback or branching you can redirect the user to the aspects they are still not mastering. We have used Engage, Quizmaker or simply made PowerPoint slides with hyperlinks to create relevant tests and activites. We generally  make the courses with lots of learner interactivity for self assessment and open the courses for them to practice. 
  2. Prerequisite tests to attend classroom training. When inviting people to expensive on-site training involving costs for travel, hotel etc we have made them take tests as to verify they have the right prerequisite knowledge to attend the training. We made a test in Quizmaker with a pool of questions which were randomized. Also we made the do some homework prior to the training - which was more a test of the attitude towards the training plus homework after the training as part of the prerequisites to the next level in the training.
  3. Certification tests. Service engineers needed to prove they had proper understanding of a medical device in order to perform service on it. They were required to study the User Manual and the Technical manual first. We made an assessment test for them to test if they were qualified to take the certification test. If they qualified they got the link to the certification test. Again this test was made in Quizmaker with a pool of 150 questions of which 30 were used.

I hope this gave you some ideas.