Assessments Through the Learning Process: Video & white paper

Headshot JuliePosted by Julie Delazyn

Quizzes, tests, and exams do so much more than determine whether or not a learner passed a training course. These assessments, as well as surveys, play a crucial role in learning, performance improvement and regulatory compliance. I’m please to share an 8-minute video that explores the varied and important roles assessments play before, during and after a learning experience.

This video — as well as our white paper, Assessments through the Learning Process, are great places to start exploring the possibility of using online assessments in education, training, certification or compliance. They explain how you can use assessments to improve learning and measurement, and will point you to many additional information sources.

Make sure to bookmark the Questionmark Learning Cafe to stay up to date with videos, demonstrations and other resources about everything from assessment-related best practices to the use of Questionmark technologies.

Need better assessments? Read our white papers

Posted by Joan Phaup

Assessments play a crucial role in learning, performance improvement and regulatory compliance — and Questionmark White Papers help you create better assessments, deliver them securely and get trustable results.

We invite you to download any of these papers with our compliments. Here are just five of the many available for you to choose from:

  • Assessments Through the Learning Process
    • This is a great place to start for people who are beginning to explore the possibility of using online assessments in education, training, certification or compliance. It explains how you can use assessments to improve learning and measurement, and it will point you to many additional resources.
  • The Role of Assessments in Mitigating Risk for Financial Services Organizations
    • Online assessments play a critical role in corporate compliance programs. This paper describes today’s regulatory landscape and explores the business benefits of using assessments for compliance. It also describes specific ways to use assessments within a compliance program, examines security and accessibility issues and offers role-specific best practice guidance for implementing legally defensible assessments.
  • Using Online Assessment for Compliance
    • This paper explains how assessments can help organizations document their effectiveness in delivering compliance training and – in addition – play a role in improving organizational performance. It describes the various ways in which organizations can use assessments to demonstrate that their employees understand regulatory standards.
  • Alignment, Impact and Measurement with the A-model
    • The A-model framework helps individuals and organizations clarify the goals, objectives and human performance issues of their work and design systematic assessment systems to evaluate progress towards their goals. Learn the ideas behind the A-model and how to implement them.
  • Embedded Assessments: Building Knowledge Checks, Surveys and Other Assessments into Learning Materials
    • The ability to place assessments within many different contexts — embedding them in wikis, blogs and portals, for instance — changes their potential uses and brings them directly into the learning process. This paper value of embedded assessments to learners and instructors, shares examples of where such assessments can be used and explores how they might help shape the future of learning.

 

Determining the Stakes of Assessments

Posted by Julie Delazyn

Determining the stakes of an assessment helps you plan it appropriately, allocate resources wisely and determine an appropriate security level for it.

You can identify low-, medium- or high-stakes assessments by considering their consequences to the candidate. An exam, for instance, normally has significant consequences while a survey has low or no consequences.

This chart displays the consequences of different types of assessments and other factors that help indicate whether they are low-, medium- or high-stakes:

 

In low-stakes assessments, such as quizzes and surveys, the consequences to the candidate are low, and so the legal liabilities are low. These assessments are often taken alone since there isn’t any motivation to cheat or share answers with others. Little planning is required: subject matter experts (SMEs) simply write the questions and make them available to learners. The consequences of low-stakes tests are  easily reversed. If someone gets a poor score on a quiz, for instance, they could improve their score on a retake.

But what about the consequences of a high-stakes test, such as a nursing certification exam? It would very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse the consequences of failing such a test. This kind of test, therefore, requires a great deal of planning. This might include job task analysis, setting pass/fail scores, specifying the methods and consistency of delivery required, and determining how results will be stored and distributed. Psychometricians must analyze the results of such a test and ensure that it is valid and reliable. The motivation to cheat is high, so strong security measures – including the positive identification of each test taker – are in order. For example, high stakes tests related to national security might use biometric screening such as retinal scans to ensure that test takers are who they say they are.

Understanding the stakes of an assessment is an essential step in determining the steps you will take in authoring, delivery and reporting on it. For more details about assessments and their uses, check out our white paper, Assessments Through the Learning Process. You can download it free here, after login. Another good source for testing and assessment terms is our glossary.

Assessments Through the Learning Process : Video

Posted By Doug Peterson

Assessments – surveys, quizzes, tests, and exams – do so much more than determine whether or not a learner passed a training course. In this video, we’ll take a look at the variety and importance of the roles played by assessments before, during and after a learning experience.

For more details, download this white paper: Assessments Through the Learning Process

Assessment types and their uses: reaction assessments

Posted by Julie Delazyn

To use assessments effectively, it’s important to understand their context and uses within the learning process.

Last week I wrote about needs assessments, and today I’ll explore reaction assessments.

Typical uses:

  • Determining the satisfaction level with a learning or certification experience
  • Gathering opinions from learners about course materials, instructors, learning environments, and so forth
  • Identifying shortcomings of a learning experience in order to help improve it for others
  • Aiding the planning process for revising a course and/or the way in which it is delivered

Types:

  • Level 1 evaluations (as per Donald Kirkpatrick)
  • Course evaluations
  • Smile sheets/ happy sheets
  • Opinion surveys

Stakes: low

Example:
Answers to Question 8, analyzed below, reveal at that respondents feel they have sufficient time for the training they need to do their jobs well. But their answers to Question 9 — indicating that many people had problems with the timing of training courses — prompted their company to revise its training schedule.

For more details about assessments and their uses check out the white paper, Assessments Through the Learning Process. You can download it free here, after login. Another good source for testing and assessment terms is our glossary.

In my last post in this series, I will take a look at summative assessments.

6 + 6 is more than 12 : How Online Assessments enhance Distance Learning

Posted by John Kleeman

What is stopping distance learning from being more prevalent, in higher education and elsewhere?

I recently attended the Guide Conference in Rome, Italy, and was impressed by the many presentations on distance learning and e-learning from participants from 46 different countries. This provided a genuine world view on these topics!. At the conference, I gave a presentation (co-authored with Eric Shepherd) about how technology enhancements in online assessment might be the key factor to allow distance learning to become mainstream. I’d like to share these ideas here.

Below is a picture of the typical technology adoption lifecycle. Initially new technology is used by Innovators who use things because they are new. Then visionaries or Early Adopters see the potential business value of new technology and are willing to use it in spite of issues and problems. But often there is a Chasm before the majority of users adopt a technology; the majority will only use technology if their peers are already using it and if it meets all their needs.

I’d suggest that distance learning in higher education might be in the Chasm today – it’s being used by visionaries but not yet by the majority.

Technology Adoption Lifecycle

In the presentation, I pick out six key assessments in distance learning:

  • Pretests
  • Formative quizzes
  • Practice tests
  • Course evaluations
  • Quizzes to slow the forgetting curve
  • Exams

And six key, recent technological advances:

  • Embedding assessments on the same page as learning
  • Mobile delivery of assessments
  • Remote video monitoring
  • Easy to use learning platforms
  • Easy to translate assessments
  • The Cloud easing deployment

I wonder if the combination of these assessments and technology advances could make a significant difference for distance learning success. In particular, the ability to do higher stakes exams more safely at a distance makes distance learning more credible. And the increased knowledge, evidence and engagement given by frequent online assessments greatly aids learning by reducing the “transactional distance” between instructor and learner.

You can see the presentation embedded below or else view it by clicking on the title:

6+6 is more than 12

View more presentations from Questionmark

I’d love to receive your comments. Is distance learning already mainstream, and if not, what will it take for the majority to adopt it?