7 Types Of Online Assessments To Avoid In Performance Management Online Training

7 Types Of Online Assessments To Avoid In Performance Management Online Training
Summary: It’s not about how much your employees know, but whether they’re able to apply it on-the-job. In this article I highlight 7 types of online assessments to avoid in performance management online training.

Performance Management Online Training: Which Online Assessments Are Better To Leave Out?

How do you know if your employees are actually absorbing the information and building vital skills? Of course, you can always get a general overview by evaluating LMS reports. However, assessments give you the ability to dive deep and find out exactly where the strengths and weaknesses lie. You can pinpoint skill gaps holding employees back and offer targeted support tools. But not all evaluation methods are created equal. For example, qualitative exams may indicate the level of comprehension and fall short in the diagnostic department. This is why you should avoid these 7 types of online assessments in performance management online training.

7 Types Of Online Assessments To Omit From Performance Management Training

1. Multiple Choice Exams

Multiple-choice exams are perfectly fine for compliance knowledge or other quantifiable online training topics. For example, testing an employees’ ability to recall company policies. However, performance management online training requires a more qualitative approach. Instead of merely determining whether an employee can guess the correct answer from a list of responses. You need to be able to see if they can put their skills and knowledge into action.

2. Mandatory Peer-Based Review

Inviting co-workers to review each other’s work and highlight areas for improvement does have its advantages. For example, in informal training settings, it gives peers the ability to interact and provide eLearning feedback based on their past experiences. However, the most effective performance management online training assessments should be of a more personal nature. Employees must be able to evaluate their own performance and detect their own sticking points. Peer-based reviews should never be forced on the individual. It’s a helpful training tool if they so choose, but they also need the opportunity to reflect on their own. As some might feel uncomfortable being ‘judged’ by co-workers who point out their faults.

3. True/False

Employees have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. Thus, true or false assessments don’t really test real-world application or if they truly understand the task/behavior. Or even if they fully comprehend the subject matter in the first place. Fill-in-the-blank and short answer exams also fall into this category and should be avoided in performance management online training. Even compliance tasks are difficult to measure with these more rudimentary assessment types. Because they lack the ability to detect the employees’ level of understanding and how well they utilize it in the workplace to increase efficiency.

4. Theoretical Simulations

Simulations are a great way to evaluate real-world application and whether the employee knows how to use skills in the workplace. However, you need to make them contextual to assess employees’ talents and help them achieve favorable performance behaviors. For example, include realistic characters and challenges so you can see how they react and what they still need to work on. Rather than just testing their knowledge of the theory behind the task, such as if they memorized every step.

5. Ambiguous Branching Scenarios

The key to successful branching scenarios is to clearly define the decision points and outcome spectrum. Especially when you use them as performance management online training assessments. Employees need to know why their decision was right/wrong and how their behaviors and actions led them to that point. For example, where they started venturing down the wrong path that brought them to the worse possible outcome. Ambiguous branching scenarios fall flat because they don’t give employees any effective eLearning feedback or guidance. They know they didn’t perform at their best but aren’t sure why or how to improve. Which, frankly, leaves them feeling a bit deflated and demotivated. Rather than offering them a chance to remedy the performance issue and be driven to achieve their potential.

6. Serious Games That Lack Immediate Follow-Up

Serious games are not only engaging but help measure performance and troubleshoot problem areas. In certain cases, employees may be having so much fun they don’t even realize they’re being assessed. The trouble is that these serious game assessments must be paired with immediate follow-up and facilitate real-world application. For instance, you can include interesting characters and storylines, but everything has to relate to the task or performance behaviors. Otherwise, the game becomes a distraction instead of an effective evaluation method in performance management online training. Incorporate recommendations and follow-up online training recommendations after the fact. As well as personalized eLearning feedback that lets employees know how they can increase productivity and proficiency based on their game performance.

7. Pre-Assessments That Don’t Tie Into Personal Gaps

Pre-assessing employees give you the opportunity to find out how much they know, what they need to learn, and where to move on from here. However, the pre-assessments should tie into personal gaps instead of trying to cast the net wide. Formulate the questions so that they target specific skills or task performance issues that are holding employees back. Ultimately, each question should help you step inside the mind of the employee to see how they rate their own performance. As well as where they feel they need to improve based on past experiences and outcomes. Avoid generalized questions so that you’re able to put them on the right path and place them in a suitable group. For instance, with other customer service employees who need to perfect their POS troubleshooting or communication skills.


Performance management online training involves its fair share of self-analysis and ongoing support. Employees must be able to identify pain points and address them immediately to improve productivity. However, these assessment types only brush the surface instead of delving into individual areas for improvement. Some might even exacerbate the performance issues because they merely test theoretical know-how or don’t offer any direct follow-up.

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