August 31, 2015

As you know, most media courseware includes a final exam.

The courseware that has truly meaningful exams has a randomized bank of questions and asks at least one question for each of the learning objectives.

As I’ve commented in previous postings, if measuring learning as retention is the goal, only meaningful results can be obtained by administering that final exam a second time —- six months or more after course completion.

In addition, it would be wise to administer a hands-on test that will give you a clearer picture as to the transfer of learned knowledge into more effective work practice.

The following are a couple of ideas that will give you a better picture of the efficacy of your training initiatives:

On-the-job Follow-up:

The trainee and the appropriate supervisor are given a copy of the performance checklist for each completed lesson. The supervisor assigns the student to perform tasks on the checklist and evaluates that performance. Through discussion, the supervisor can then augment the training activities with site or equipment specific identification and information.

Shop/Laboratory Activity Integration:

Shortly after the completion of a lesson, a shop/lab activity is conducted allowing trainees to practice the learning objectives covered in that lesson. For example, your trainees finish a course on laser alignment and then go into a shop to practice actual laser alignment. That shop/lab activity can then be followed up with a hands-on performance test administered by the instructor.

Either of these hands-on activities will give you a much better idea as to how well your learning initiatives translate to the plant floor. I

f your training initiatives are designed to increase trainee retention and better on-the-job performance, testing (both final exams and practical demonstration) are essential evaluative tools.

More on Wednesday – – –

Bill Walton: co-Founder, ITC Learning
(Mondays & Wednesdays)