2b or not 2b?

In the last several years, assessments progressively viewed as bad and ineffective in most of the learning communities. The argument against “standardized tests” starts with early education and continues to adult learning. Most of the objections stem from the environments in which the assessment scores become the goal of learning rather than a tool to improve learner’s understanding. In today’s blog we are trying to answer the question of; 2b or not 2b? Assess or not?

Let’s say you train buyers in your company about Purchase Order Workflow in D365 F&O in a classroom environment. At the end of the training, you give everyone an assessment to measure their understanding of the topics covered. One of the learners get a really low score from this assessment, while most others got better scores. This is not an acceptable assessment score based on your company expectations.

What happens next is the key in making the assessment a useful tool. If you use this score to compare the learner to other learners, label him as “not mastered the skills”, and not follow up in a constructive way, you would miss a great opportunity.

The key is to use the assessment as a diagnostics tool to understand what learner needs to improve and give him additional chance for success. If you follow the below steps, you can unlock the potential of the assessment that you have done.

  1. Review the assessment results with the learner privately and determine the areas that he needs to work on.
  2. Help him to revisit these areas by giving him extra time, materials, or instructions. He may even have to attend the same classroom training again, focusing on the areas that were not mastered.
  3. Reassess his skills later and see if there is improvement. If you follow these steps with some encouragement, there is no reason why the learner will not improve his learning and score.

Ultimately, when you are providing online or classroom training, your goal is to make sure each learner reaches his full potential, learn the topics, and apply them to his work life. Assessments can be useful in this process to diagnose problem areas and motivate the learners to do better.

When you are discussing online or classroom training with your training providers, make sure to ask appropriate questions:

  • Do you have assessments?
  • Can learners retake assessments?
  • Can learners revisit materials after taking an assessment? Etc.

The answers to these questions will tell you if these assessments are designed to score and categorize only, or to improve learning.

As far as the assess or not question; we say 2b for sure.