The objective of employee training is to sharpen your employees' skills, reinforce their talents, and offer them knowledge and confidence to thrive at their jobs.
In this post, we will explore the impact of assessments on your employees' ability to retain knowledge and retrieve information and define the six essential elements to include in your tests or quizzes.
It is fairly common to conduct assessments between or at the end of training programs, while some roles demand periodic evaluations to help employees stay on top of their game.
In 2011, psychology experts Henry L. Roediger III, Adam L. Putnam, and Megan A. Smith wrote a paper on the benefits of testing (Source).
This paper was written after a detailed study that observed the impact of testing on students.
Because the fundamentals of the way we learn, remember, and retrieve information don't change as we age, we can extrapolate the impact of testing employees from this paper.
1 - Retrieval aids later retention:Regularly testing your employees encourages them to retrieve information every time they participate in a quiz or a test.
There is clear evidence from psychological experiments that practicing retrieval of something after learning makes us more likely to retain it for the long term.
Note: In 1880, German psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus proposed that we tend to forget nearly 70% of what we learn by the end of the day. He later championed the need for regular training to improve knowledge retention. Read more about Ebbinghaus's forgetting theory here.
2 - Aids knowledge organization: As you put your employees through assessments, regular testing aids their brains to organize material in clusters to allow better retrieval.
3 - Improves metacognitive monitoring: By giving employees scores or self-assessments, they can better predict their knowledge and be more confident about what they know and what they need to know.
4 - Identify the skills gap: Besides highlighting what your employees have learned and what they haven't, regular assessments can also help you identify skill gaps and guide your training team to create programs that can immediately lead to better business outcomes.
1 - Align your tests with your learning objectives: The type of test you create is driven by what you want the test to achieve. You may choose to test employees' theoretical knowledge via objective type or open-ended tests.
Whereas you might want to test your employees' practical knowledge - like testing your service technicians on demonstrating or installing a new product - on the field.
As testing theoretical knowledge is different from testing practical competencies, you should align your tests with learning objectives.
2 - Offer the right level of difficulty: The starting point to assess the right difficulty level is to look at your learning objectives.
What is the level of this test? Is it introductory or advanced? Do you want to test your employees' knowledge or their skills, or both? These questions will help you define the difficulty of the assessment.
3 - Accommodate learning capabilities: Your employee training programs are only as good as your employees' learning capabilities.
You should assess your employees' capabilities, challenges, and difficulties in learning before creating the training program and its relevant assessments.
Having this information available, you can offer alternative assessment methods to accommodate employees who face challenges.
For example, you can offer tests or quizzes in regional languages for employees from tier-2/3 cities whose primary communication mode isn't English.
4 - Questions as part of learning: Asking your employees to answer questions isn't strictly for the end of the course quiz. You may insert or interweave questions within your learning material and test your employees' understanding of the section immediately.
You may also allow your employees to progress to the next section only upon answering such questions.
This will help your employees retain information better and make them confident as they progress along the course by answering questions.
5 - Make tests fun: most employees find regular assessments quite stressful. However, it need not be like this.
Add a greater variety of activities to your assessments and make them interactive.
Here's an example; turn an MCQ into an interactive video where animated characters ask questions and then lead employees to choose answers via drag-and-drop options.
You can also create simulated environments to test employee skills, like games and scenario-based quizzes.
You can also add collaborative assignments, especially if you're training skills that enhance teamwork or promote creativity.
6 - Offer feedback: Another essential component of a successful test is feedback.
You may offer feedback after employees answer a question or complete an action or at the end of the quiz.
Immediate feedback works best for interactive types of online quizzes and on-site demonstrations.
When you should or shouldn't offer feedback is completely dependent on each case.
In the case of interactive assessments, you may allow employees to answer questions without offering feedback after each question.
If they end up choosing the wrong answer, it may be effective to allow your employees to continue along the wrong path so that they see how one wrong decision initiates a cascade of consequences.
Designing tests at large organizations that employ hundreds of employees is a challenging task for any training team. Especially when your training team is tasked to create content, distribute it, and analyze the impact of training.
The right training tech should enable your training team to conduct tests effortlessly. That's why we built Nittio Learn LMS.
Our LMS allows your training team to:
To assess if Nittio Learn LMS suits your requirements, visit www.nittiolearn.com to learn more.
The Covid-19 pandemic has severely impacted the way organizations train their employees. Nationwide lockdowns and travel restrictions have put an end to instructor-led classroom training for operations, logistics and other distributed workforce.
A few days back, when I gave a breif introduction of Nittio Learn to an acquaintance, she made remark - "Oh, that means corporate eLearining would cover more business critical areas than the typical don`t do eLearning".