Testing Out of eLearning

Hello! We're working towards a new initiative on our learning team where we build more eLearnings that allow employees to test out. If they can score well on a quiz of the learning objectives then they don't have to go through the full training.

This is very new for us, and our employees are not used to it. We got a piece of feedback recently from an employee who was very disappointed to learn they did not have the knowledge to pass the quiz, and they provided some rather harsh feedback from that pain point. The eLearning is still in the beta phase, so it hasn't been rolled out to everyone yet, so we don't know yet if we'll receive more feedback like this or not.

I see everywhere in articles about this that employees LOVE being able to test out of training, but I never see anyone explain the typical experience for employees that fail that test and then have to do the training.

For those of you doing trainings like this, what's your feedback like from these employees? Or if you know where people have written about this I'd love to see it. Ultimately I'm trying to determine what is "normal", so we can make good decisions on what to do with feedback like this.

2 Replies
Karl Muller

Hi Karen,

"Testing out" is beneficial to experienced and knowledgeable employees, as they do not have to spend time completing/repeating training they don't need.

However, it is key not to force all employees down the "testing out" path.

For example, there is no point forcing a new hire to attempt a quiz they have no hope of passing.  This will just cause frustration. 

Rather give employees a choice to either "test out" first, or to skip the test and complete the training first. 

Judy Nollet

I agree with Karl. Let the learners decide whether to attempt the pre-test (with the possibility of failing and then taking the course) or to just go to the full course right away.

If someone takes the pre-test and fails, that should motivate them to pay attention to the content, because it shows their lack of knowledge. Well, at least, in theory it should motivate them. There will sometimes be those, like the person described in the post, who get mad because they feel bad.

IMHO, it's good to let people fail, especially in a safe environment. Life doesn't give ribbons for "participation."