6 Tell-Tale Signs That Your eLearning Assessments May Be Missing The Mark

6 Tell-Tale Signs That Your eLearning Assessments May Be Missing The Mark
Summary: The only way to know if your eLearning strategy is truly effective is identifying whether your learners have actually acquired and retained the necessary skills and knowledge. While interviews and surveys can offer a glimpse into the minds of your audience, an eLearning assessment gives you the complete picture. In this article, I’ll share 5 indications to determine if your eLearning assessments are right on target or missing the mark.

Are Your eLearning Assessments Missing The Mark? 6 Tell-Tale Signs To Consider

One of the most powerful diagnostic evaluation tools that you have as an Instructional Designer is eLearning assessment. Corporate learners may say that they know the information, but can they actually put it into action and use it on-the-job? An eLearning assessment offers you the chance to test their knowledge and skill development, which takes them one step closer to achieving their performance objectives. Here are a few of the tell-tale signs that may indicate that your eLearning assessment strategy needs some fine tuning.

  1. Tell-Tale Sign#1: You are only testing the learners at the END of the eLearning course.
    If you are only assessing learner knowledge at the end of eLearning course, then you may be lacking a comparison benchmark. Testing your learners at the beginning of the eLearning course gives you the opportunity to determine their current skills and knowledge base. You can also discover their strengths and weaknesses, which allows you to custom tailor the eLearning course based upon their individual needs. Once they complete the eLearning course and take their final assessment, you can then compare their results to see how far they progressed. At that point further online learning resources can be offered to those who still lack the necessary skills or information. There is another reason why you should “bookend” your eLearning modules with eLearning assessments, identifying areas of improvement for your online course. For example, if most of your learners have not acquired the necessary knowledge throughout the eLearning experience, then you may want to rethink your eLearning strategy.
  2. Tell-Tale Sign#2: Your eLearning assessments are NOT focused on goals and objectives.
    As is the case with all aspects of your eLearning course, your eLearning assessments should be centered on the performance goals and objectives of the company. Be sure to have a clear description of these goals on hand when you are writing your eLearning assessments, as well as the desired outcome set forth by the organization. Do a thorough edit of the eLearning assessment before you upload it to your eLearning course so that you can rest assured that every component aligns with the core learning objectives.
  3. Tell-Tale Sign#3: You are avoiding open-ended questions.
    Open-ended questions in eLearning are nothing to fear, especially if you are trying to verify whether your learners have actually acquired new information. Multiple choice and true or false questions are perfectly acceptable for basic concepts. However, open-ended questions require in depth knowledge the topic. In other words, they can’t just guess the correct answer at random. These questions also enable your learners to reflect upon the subject matter and put it into their own words, which improves knowledge retention. If you are really want a winning combination you should opt for both quantitative and qualitative questions in your eLearning assessment.
  4. Tell-Tale Sign#4: There are no practical hands-on assessments in your eLearning strategy.
    Practical assessments give your learners the chance to test out their newfound knowledge in real world situations, minus the risk. They can participate in online scenarios and simulations that allow them to see how every action and choice they make leads to real world consequences. This also offers them the opportunity to determine how they would use their knowledge and skills in the real world. Your eLearning assessments do not have to be in a traditional format. In fact, they can be interactive, realistic, and immersive, so that learners can explore the subject matter on their own terms while you test their knowledge.
  5. Tell-Tale Sign#5: There is no consistent grading criteria in place.
    No matter what eLearning question style you choose, there should be a clear and consistent criteria in place to provide valid results. Before you create an eLearning assessment you must have a firm grasp on why you are creating it. If you are testing skill mastery, which skills are you looking for and how are you going to test them during your eLearning program? For knowledge checks, you should be aware of what pieces of information your learners need to know, and what eLearning assessment format is ideally suited both to their needs, and the subject matter. Your learners must also be aware of what’s expected of them and what they will be graded on before taking the online test.
  6. Tell-Tale Sign#6: Your eLearning assessment questions are vague or deceptive.
    It might be tempting to create elaborate eLearning questions with vague answer choices just to trick your learners. However, you have to keep in mind that these questions will not just stump the struggling learners, but those who have mastered the topic as well. As such, you still won’t know whether your audience has learned the subject matter. Deceptive and misleading questions also diminish the validity of your eLearning assessment. To some extent, they even have the power to compromise the entire training program, as learners may commit incorrect information to memory or become so frustrated that they simply give up. So, be clear and concise and figure out the ideal difficulty level for each online question. This can be done through audience research and by examining the entry tests they completed at the very beginning.

If your eLearning assessment contains any of the mistakes above, then you may want to consider making minor changes to improve its effectiveness. Doing so can strengthen your overall eLearning strategy and ensure that you’re offering your online learners the skills and knowledge they need in the workplace.

Corporate learners tend to always be on-the-go, which means that you may have to offer them online assessments that can travel with them. Read the article 5 Tips To Develop Mobile Learning Assessments to discover how you can create mobile learning assessments for your audience.