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Online Training Needs Assessments: How to Measure Learning Performance Effortlessly


For online training instructors, creating meaningful performance assessments for online training is a critical issue.

Nowadays, most online training instructors like to evaluate what learners learnt during the learning process through traditional summative evaluation. However, this assessment approach needs to be changed, as it only considers final learning outcomes without considering the learning process of learners. Actually, learning performance can be tracked by related online assessments in the process of online training. With meaningful and periodical performance assessments, instructors would easily and efficiently measure all performances and provide valuable feedback to learners in training progress.

How to Conduct Assessments in Online Training?

1. Schedule all assessments, not just at the end

Regarding the flexibility of online assessments, instructors need to know the overall schedule of the training to grade whole learning process. With different levels, make exact schedule of assessments to examine all learners' performances. The good point is, instructors can benefit from those results of assessments as feedback, and add improvements in the learning courses of next level. For online training, the scheduled assessments could be easier to be integrated into original learning timeline. Assessments and courses can be based on feedbacks from previous assessments to engage learners with interactions. At the end, assessment in traditional way also makes sense with maximum efforts. In scheduled training, performance assessments are really helpful to control entire learning process.

2. Customize assessment creation, with right tools

To author online assessments with specified requirements, instructors will create and implement quizzes to test undergoing training. Types of quizzes may differ and may feature formats ranging from multiple choice answers, plain typed text responses and true/false and yes/no questions. Instructors should carefully select the assessment authoring tools, according to the usages. Creating quizzes as performance assessments in online training has two categories of tools: desktop applications, or Web applications. Desktop apps such as Wondershare QuizCreator or Web apps such as Quia Web have similar features to customize assessment creation, but the online usages. Desktop apps usually have plentiful contents and take Flash technology to Web compliance; while Web apps offer easy-to-use quizzes creation online directly but exact enhancements.

3. Track and evaluate results, in a report

As feedback on performance is a critical part of a learning environment, online training instructors really need to analyze all results of performance assessments. In order to evaluate the whole learning process and know the exact data, all assessment results must be properly collected and processed in the learning system. Most LMSes (Learning Management System) such as Moodle, BlackBoard can track assessment results within the system. And the Web quiz apps Desktop quiz apps usually come with a results component, for example, Questionmark's Results Management System, QuizCreator's Quiz Management System as professional assessment management, to make all results data from performance assessments arranged as report. Whatever the systems you use, just summarize the reports in the meaningful points you need.

4. Take actions on all feedbacks, performances focused

The best part of performance assessment in online training is not just reporting the differences of individual learning process, or scoring the final exam as performance. The results in assessment report aim to inspire instructors to keep improving the efficiency of entire online training. Just take actions on the feedbacks. Instructors must manage all assessment results as different reports in those assessment management systems, or deal with them using other professional statistical analysis software like Microsoft Excel or SPSS. With meaningful result of these assessments, instructors have the opportunity to maximize the value of any public or corporate training.

From the approach to performance, knowledge and the core management of entire training and learning process, efficient online assessment can really increase productivity for organizations. Furthermore, based on proper measurement of learning performance, instructors would improve the process of training with better interactions.
William Peterson


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