How do you assess training thoroughly – and prove it?
Training evaluations and assessments are a standard part of any learning programme – or they should be. However, these are not just a tick box exercise (no pun intended). They capture valuable information which can be used for various purposes, for example to:
- Improve learner understanding
- Support retention of knowledge
- Indicate how to improve learning content
- Prove the learner knows what they need to know to do the job
All learning management systems and most content creation tools include some type of quiz capability but they are usually quite simplistic offering a limited range of questions and lacking the ability to prove knowledge undeniably.
In the last two days I have been participating in training on the SAP Assessment Management by Questionmark software. It is hailed as a market leader in assessment capabilities and I can see why.
It is highly comprehensive and customisable and there are many features I could mention – some obvious ones include:
- Ease of use for the author and the learner
- Range of different question types
- Question bank in which questions are created and then used in creating assessments
However, the capability that particularly impressed me, and what is of most interest from an organisational perspective is the ability to know, reliably, that employees have been properly trained, can apply their knowledge and demonstrate their capability. This is essential for organisations with high risk and regulatory compliance requirements.
It is achieved through the design of the questions and assessments and through the powerful analytics features. So compelling are these features that the software has been used to present evidence in courts that the tests performed in certain cases proved that organisations had fulfilled their responsibilities in educating members of their workforce.
There are 21 question types covering the obvious ones such as multiple choice, fill in the blank and True/False to more engaging question types such as matching through to more revealing types such as multiple response (giving a score per choice) and hotspot (identify part of a picture or diagram to answer the question). This range enables you to examine thoroughly that the learner knows the material.
The questions, which are created within particular topics, can then be included in one or more assessments. Pass marks can be set for each assessment or even for topics within an assessment and feedback given on correct and/or incorrect answers at a question level and/or assessment level.
The assessments can be used for a wide range of different purposes including but not limited to:
- Surveys – Kirkpatrick level 1 – reaction – degree to which participants found the training favourable, engaging and relevant to their jobs
- Formative quizzes – used in training to support understanding and knowledge retention
- Formal examinations – Kirkpatrick level 2 – learning – degree to which participants have acquired the intended knowledge, skills and abilities based on their participation in training
- Job task analysis – identification of training needs enabling training to be focused on the knowledge gaps
- Observational assessments – Kirkpatrick level 3 – degree to which participants apply what they learned in training when they are back on the job
I found quite a comprehensive range of examples of different types of assessments – you can have a play with each of them.
Lastly and for some people, most importantly, Questionmark realises the importance of data security for any software as a service and here’s an interesting video showing how security is addressed in the Assessment Management software.
If you have the chance to review some of the assessments, I would be keen to hear your thoughts, so please contact me.
Reporting and analytics are detailed from high level, assessment level reports down to individual coaching reports.
Oh yes, I almost forgot – all the assessments are available on mobile devices (here’s a QR code you can use to try these out too).