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 theyâ€™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, weâ€™ve added a shiny competency badge to your transcript.
Are you willing to admit you suck at project management? We love people who donâ€™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 canâ€™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 theirÂ stuff.
I donâ€™t know about you but I like the idea that the technician whoâ€™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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