For years we have been hearing the term “assessment” used to measure the effectiveness of trainers by linking learner’s performance to specific learning objectives. It is usually used to provide valuable information for the trainer to either improve his or her training practices or to gather relevant information about learner’s performance and progress. Yet even as we assess training and development needs amongst our learners, we might at times find it a little overwhelming especially in a virtual learning setting.
Assessments are more complicated, diverse and demanding when you are working remotely in your home office and are limited to ‘virtual’ supervision of your learners. This makes it harder to carry out them effectively and efficiently and to further encourage proactive learning. To minimize these challenges in learning organisations, we will be looking at how the three concepts below can help you better administer online assessments in virtual learning:
#1 Pre-Course, During And Post-Course Techniques
In a virtual learning context, diagnostic assessment is about assessing a learner’s strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, and skills prior to instruction. It refers to a trainer’s desire to seek out more information about his or her online learners. Trainers usually design a pre-course assessment strategy and put it into place before the virtual learning starts.
They continue to artfully think about the second assessment to launch during or at the end of the virtual learning programme. Such a strategy greatly helps learners to continuously upskill and be ready to perform throughout and beyond the virtual learning.
The post-learning assessment is used to compare data with the pre-assessment and look for evidence of improvement. This step will allow us to then build a follow-up and coaching strategy.
Tip: Using a digital platform like ArcLab allows us at Business Academia to understand the opportunities for development and verify whether learners have understood the content.
#2 Hands-On Assignments That Turn Into Action Plans
Action plans are used to outline what needs to be done to reach the desired outcome. Some trainers start by writing hands-on assignments as part of their action plans. They derive much of these hands-on assignments from questions like, “Are the activities specific?”, “Do the activities directly address the performance measures?” and “Are the activities practical and realistic in terms of both time and resource requirements?”
Now there is nothing wrong with asking yourself these questions, but the bigger question to ask yourself is “What does a learner needs to learn in your course?”. Once you have the answer, you may then use some of the tips such as sequencing, scheduling, checking feasibility and articulating the task description to ultimately help you turn your assignments into action plans where you can then write your virtual learning assessments.
Remember, the amount and types of assessments used in these virtual learning assignments can vary widely. But since our goal is to assess a learner’s performance during instruction and we want that to occur regularly throughout the instruction process, then it makes perfect sense to administer formative assessment at periodic intervals to keep them more engaged in their virtual learning.
#3 Using Data For Insights
Rather than collecting information about learner work and understandings in a face-to-face environment, a ‘virtual’ trainer must either learn how to use and extract data from all available resources and analyse the progress. This is done by measuring in terms of percentage how many learners have improved in terms of knowledge, concepts and application. Similarly, this data will be used to see if the learners meet the defined standards set by the training centre.
One of the most notable benefits of using data for insights stays in the recommendations, follow up and training sessions and the qualitative conversations especially during the follow-up and coaching sessions where suggestions are made on which areas can be improved.
Who Is Responsible For What?
By taking a deep look at who is responsible for what, the role of each learning and development professional in a virtual learning setting will be clearer. To a certain extent, we think that it helps to give an idea of the sort of resources and solutions to look for in order to make an impact.
As such, the job scope of a learning and development trainer should include the duty to change the way learning takes place, administering different methods of assessments at different levels, leading assessments in the virtual learning setting and taking the leadership it requires to succeed.
The other key scope is about selecting the ideal assessment tools in creating and running a successful virtual learning programme. In a nutshell, the typical activities a virtual trainer can expect to be involved in are:
- Designing a range of online assessments
- Coordinating ‘virtual’ assessments
- Monitoring how effectively learning has been transferred to learners
- Tracking responses and analyzing data
- Document performance outcomes
- Determine ratings
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Business Academia’s Vision
Our goal is to connect the space between Business Goals, Results and People’s Engagement with consultancy services, tailored experiential workshops and training. We use effective facilitation methods such as Design Thinking to define, together with you, how to engage and motivate people to the desired Change and Action.
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