Assessments are not only useful for checking the performance of your learners, but it can also help improve your course as well.
In an eLearning environment, the only guaranteed time when you can interact with your learners is through assessments. So it is vital to use the results of these assessments to its fullest.
- Any test will most likely provide one of three results.
- There is an overall poor result
- There is an overall excellent result.
- There is a mixed result ranging from excellent to poor.
- What we are interested in are the first two types of results.
Overall poor result
In an ideal scenario, you do not want any of your learners performing poorly. But it is more likely that a handful of learners will perform less than their peers. However, when a large number of learners are performing poorly, then the problem might lie with the course itself rather than the learners.
In this situation, you can take many actions to find the source of the problem.
Firstly, check your course material. See if there is any missing content, factual errors, unreadable text, or unintelligible audio. It is easy to overlook a minor mistake that might cause a chain reaction of misunderstandings.
Secondly, check your test. Perhaps the problem lies with the phrasing of questions. Confusing language will often make a question harder to answer. So make your tests clear and easy to read.
It is also possible that a portion of a test asks questions whose topics are not covered by the course material.
Finally, test the course itself. The presentation of the course could be inherently difficult. To isolate this problem, testers must take the course themselves. The results of this testing will provide valuable insight that will help with future course creation.
Overall excellent result
Even though a good result is a preferable outcome, it might also be an indication that the course or test is too easy. If too many learners are performing exceptionally, then it might be worth taking a deeper look.
You want good results, but you also need to have learners completing the course to have gained new knowledge. A participant walking away from a course dissatisfied is not beneficial for anyone.
There are a few things that you can do to improve this.
Firstly, check to see if the test questions are too easy. Switch out multiple choice questions with essay type to provide a greater challenge. Provide questions that make the learner think and apply everything that they have learned.
Secondly, add more in-depth modules to the course. If the learners are finding the course too easy, then a more detailed course with in-depth chapters will provide a welcome challenge for them. However, be careful not to make the course more difficult purely for the sake of difficulty.
With all these points in mind, you can fully utilize your assessments to improve your course. Always remember that, just because something works does not mean that it cannot be improved.