Whether you're a classroom teacher for K-20 students, a post-secondary instructor, or a trainer in a corporate or industrial setting, one of the biggest challenges is to find ways of accurately measuring what your learners have actually retained. Not only is it difficult to represent a variety of different learning styles, but constraints on time and resources often limit the richness of the activities and tasks used. While younger learners do write standardized tests, there's still room in K-20 curriculum for other types of assessment and evaluation. Why not carry the same variety into corporate and industrial training programs?
Here are some suggestions for ensuring that corporate and industrial learners are allowed to really demonstrate that they've met learning objectives:
- Don't rely exclusively on tests, especially multiple choice. Moreover, break longer tests into smaller ones, and administer them at regular intervals in the curriculum. With the right online learning platform in place, it's even possible to have learners go at their own pace, taking tests when they're ready to.
- Allow learners to capture their progress in a variety of media, such as audio and video clips. This is especially important when curriculum includes hands-on or applied learning. Moreover, make it easy for learners to submit and demonstrate their findings in real time.
- Make collaboration part of assessment and evaluation by using your learning platform to capture participation in group projects.
- Use cloud-based technology to save assessment and evaluation and make them accessible for future reference.
Corporate and industrial learners may have different motivation and objectives than younger learners, but they still need variety and richness in assessment and evaluation in order to really get the most out of their training experience. The right teaching approach, supported by the right technology, can create a corporate training environment in which standardized testing is only one of many ways to demonstrate learning.
Amy Leask is VP of Enable Education.