Learning development through technology

Quizzes and Qualitative Assessment Some Thoughts.

Quizzes form a dominant part of e-learning assessment. The format is usually a section of information delivery followed by a quiz to test learning.  Modern content development tools allow branching; this is the ability to direct the learner through a revision section should the answer be wrong and then re-test.  The branching technique allows differentiation in the assessment, differentiation being a buzz word in education meaning that you provide different approaches and levels of tuition depending on learner needs.

The down side with quizzes are that they test knowledge of facts and information but are less successful in testing evaluative skills.

Quizzes can be constructed to ask more probing questions but the “it depends” reply is quite difficult to deploy and assess using quizzing.  So, e-learning without tutor support seems more allied to training material based on knowledge and facts. It is great for compliance training because it tests knowledge of rules and requirements plus the benefit of being able to serve large populations of learners easily and retain activity and pass or fail scores to forward on to the regulator.

If you have a need to train online for subjects that require evaluation, qualitative answers, opinions and justification of those opinions based on research  then blended learning has to be the answer.

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a mix of e-learning supported by tutorials and professional interaction. It might contain tutor delivered webnars with materials on a learning management system to support those sessions or be a “flipped” class where the learner does the learning on their own and then the tutorial is used to discuss the findings and conduct: verbal assessment, reinforcement or provide additional support. Blended learning might be conducted with online e-learning and then online submission of assignments designed to capture evaluative skills marked by a tutor and returned via electronic means. There are different ways to mix e-learning with human interaction.

The use of quizzes has limitations and for higher learning skills then a different approach needs to be added to make the learning experience fit with the need.

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