5 Instances To Consider Offering Test-Out eLearning Assessments
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When To Include Test-Out eLearning Assessments

Test-out eLearning assessments give online learners the opportunity to skip ahead by displaying their knowledge. If they already know the subject matter, they're able to move onto the next eLearning module or course. As a result, they are more likely to actively participate and connect with the eLearning content. But there are times when online learners still need to participate, regardless of their background or knowledge base. The key is knowing when to incorporate test-out eLearning assessments, and when to make training mandatory. You might consider a test-out option in the following circumstances:

1. Online Learners Already Have Experience With The Topic

Certain members of your audience may be familiar with the subject matter. Either they've explored the topic on their own or have received formal training. Whatever the case, the ideas and concepts are already part of their preexisting knowledge base. Making participation mandatory would only bore or frustrate these online learners, as it doesn't offer them any real value. However, you can give them the opportunity to test-out and progress to the next eLearning course, which does offer them new information. The exception to this rule is knowledge reinforcement. For example, online learners need to refresh their memory in order to complete a task or assimilate the key takeaways.

2. Employees Have Already Taken Similar Compliance Online Training Courses

There may be some overlap in your corporate eLearning program, such as employees who have been transferred from other branches. These staff members have already taken similar compliance online training courses and received their certifications. As such, they aren't required to complete it this time around. Test-out eLearning assessments give them the ability to skip ahead to the next online training course or compliance topic. That said, there are instances when employees are legally required to take compliance online training courses. For example, they must renew certificates each year in order to stay current with local regulations. Therefore, it's wise to consult governmental guidelines and company policies before you give employees the option to test out.

3. You're Working With A Diverse Group Of Online Learners

Most audiences consist of different demographics and backgrounds. Everyone has their own cognitions that play an important role. Certain online learners also have more experience than others, which makes it challenging to create eLearning courses. You must meet everyone's needs, but those needs vary greatly based on their personal history. Thankfully, test-outs allow you to customize the eLearning experience. Online learners with more knowledge and skills are able to skip ahead and receive the online training they require. While those who still need to explore the topics are allowed to go at their own pace.

4. You Must Determine Where Online Learners Fall In The Skill Spectrum

How much online learners know is just as important as how well they know it. Test-out eLearning assessments can help you determine where online learners fall in the spectrum. For example, corporate learners who have been working on their customer service skills already have a foundation to build on. They know the basics. As such, they don't need to take the rudimentary beginner's online training course. Likewise, there are others who have worked in customer service for years, but still need to polish their skills. These individuals are able to test out of the beginner and intermediary online training courses and progress to the top level. This approach is also useful for task proficiency and knowledge mastery. Online learners are able to test out of specific sections or levels so that they can proceed to the next step.

5. You Don't Have Any Background Information About Your Audience

Audience research is an absolute must. However, there are situations where you're unable to conduct surveys, focus groups, and interviews. You don't know much about your online learners' backgrounds, goals, or needs. As a result, you're unable to offer them a personalized eLearning experience. Test-out eLearning assessments help fill the research gaps, as you can give online learners the chance to display their knowledge before each eLearning course. Individuals who know the subject matter are able to move on to more relevant eLearning content. They won't get bored by repetitive coursework that brings them back to square one. On the other hand, those who still need to learn the topic aren't left behind.

How To Apply Test-Out eLearning Assessments

1. Bookend Your eLearning Course With A Test-Out eLearning Assessment

Give online learners the opportunity to test-out at the beginning. Then offer the same eLearning assessment at the end for those who didn't pass. Using the same questions helps online learners gauge their progress, as they can compare the results and see how they fared. In this case, provide them with their overall score after the first eLearning assessment, but not detailed feedback. You want them to focus on every aspect of the eLearning course, not just the sections they got wrong. Offer them personalized eLearning feedback once they complete the final assessment so that they can identify areas for improvement.

2. Write Test-Out eLearning Questions Along The Way

You can save time by creating your test-out eLearning questions while creating your eLearning course. Write a few questions after each eLearning module or activity that align with the core learning objectives. Refer to your list when it's time to draft the test-out eLearning assessment and select the best questions. This also ensures that you concentrate on the essential aspects of the eLearning course. In addition, invite your eLearning team members to formulate their own questions throughout the process. For instance, your Subject Matter Experts can bring a wealth of knowledge and help you target your eLearning assessments.

Test-out eLearning assessments give you the power to prevent online learner boredom and keep them fully engaged. They're able to prove their knowledge mastery and task proficiency, which earns them a pass to the next eLearning course. However, bear in mind that test-outs aren't suitable for mandatory eLearning courses.

Do you need to test the extent to which your online learners have masted knowledge? Read the article 8 Qualitative eLearning Assessment Methods To Track Online Learners Progress to discover some useful qualitative eLearning assessment methods to help you track online learners' progress.

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