Do Effective Online Training Needs Learning Performance Assessment
Oct 11, 2009 E-Learning/CALL 2451 Views
To ensure that online training is providing the right training, for the right people, with the right return, creating meaningful performance assessments for online training is crucial.
Nowadays, most online training instructors like to measure what learners have learnt during the learning process via summative assessment. However, this assessment means needs to be improved, as it only summarizes learning effect through final test points without considering the learning process of learners. Actually, learning performance can be tracked by related online assessments in the process of online training. With meaningful and periodical performance assessments, instructors would easily and efficiently measure all performances and provide valuable feedback to learners in training progress and then increase online training effect.
How to conduct learning performance assessments in online training? Here are four tips and tricks to do.
1. Schedule all assessments, not just at the end
Regarding the flexibility of online assessments, instructors need to know the overall schedule of the training to grade whole learning process. With different levels, make exact schedule of assessments to examine all learners' performances. The good point is, instructors can benefit from those results of assessments as feedback, and add improvements in the learning courses of next level. For online training, the scheduled assessments could be easier to be integrated into original learning timeline. Assessments and courses can be based on feedbacks from previous assessments to engage learners with interactions. At the end, assessment in traditional way also makes sense with maximum efforts. In scheduled training, performance assessments are really helpful to control entire learning process.
2. Customize assessment creation, with right tools
To author online assessments with specified requirements, instructors will create and implement quizzes to test undergoing training. Types of quizzes may differ and may feature formats ranging from multiple-choice answers, plain typed text responses and true/false questions. Instructors should carefully select the assessment authoring tools, according to the usages. Creating quizzes as performance assessments in online training has two kinds of tools: desktop applications and Web applications. Desktop apps like Wondershare QuizCreator or Web apps like Quia Web have similar features to customize assessment creation, but the online usages. Desktop apps usually have plentiful contents and take Flash technology to Web compliance; while Web apps offer easy-to-use quizzes creation online directly but exact enhancements.
3. Track and evaluate results, under management
As feedback on performance is a critical part of a learning environment, online training instructors really need to analyze all results of performance assessments. In order to evaluate the whole learning process and know the exact data, all assessment results must be properly collected and processed in the learning system. Most LMSs (Learning Management System) such as Moodle, BlackBoard can track assessment results within the system. And the Web quiz apps Desktop quiz apps usually come with a results component, for example, Questionmark's Results Management System, QuizCreator's Quiz Management System as professional assessment management, to make all results data from performance assessments arranged as report. Whatever the systems you use, just summarize the reports in the meaningful points you need.
4. Take actions on feedbacks, performances focused
The best part of performance assessment in online training is not just reporting the differences of individual learning process, or scoring the final exam as performance. The results in assessment report aim to inspire instructors to keep improving the efficiency of entire online training. Just take actions on the feedbacks. Instructors must manage all assessment results as different reports in those assessment management systems, or deal with them using other professional statistical analysis software like Microsoft Excel or SPSS. With meaningful result of these assessments, instructors have the opportunity to maximize the value of any public or corporate training.
From the approach to performance, knowledge and the core management of entire training and learning process, efficient online assessment can really increase productivity for organizations. Furthermore, based on proper measurement of learning performance, instructors would improve the process of training with better interactions.