Quizzes in eLearning courses are important to test the level of comprehension and understanding of learners. However, let’s face it; none of us like to take tests. We had enough of them in college. Hadn’t we?
Nonetheless, when employees are taking online courses, learners need to be checked for accuracy of comprehension of the subject matter. It is very important for evaluating training programs and for measuring the success of the training program.
Therefore, we need to come up with a win-win formula where learners don’t feel the burden of taking tests, while at the same time training managers can measure learners’ understanding of the content.
One way to do it is to have assessments or quizzes formatted such that they do not undermine the intelligence of learners while attempting to judge their comprehension on the subject matter. In this context, here are some ideas to design quizzes in eLearning courses where your learners might not even realize that they are attempting quiz questions.
- Scenario-based interactions: The best way to determine whether learners have understood the content or not is by giving a situation or a scenario and getting them to choose the right option in the given context. For example, in a sales process training course, you could create a character and make the character do the right things and wrong things and ask your audience to judge which is right and which is wrong. The whole format and tone of questioning will NOT be like a quiz but more like consulting or seeking opinions.
- Puzzles/activities that enable learners to move to the next level: Instead of formal assessment or quizzes at the end of each module, learners could be asked to solve certain puzzles such as crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, match the following, etc. It is only on successful completion of the activity, can the learner move to the next level. This format breaks the monotony of the course while engaging the learner through interactive games. From L & D’s point of view, we also ensure that the learner does not move on to the next level without fully comprehending the previous module.
Of course, for this purpose, a little more effort needs to be put in to design the interactivities to cover all the learning objectives of the module. Such activities can be ideal for process training (where you need to know the correct sequence of steps involved), product training (where you might want the audience to learn to assemble products or troubleshoot problems).
- Problem-solving approach: Another method is to have a problem or case study weaved into the course module, which subtly reviews comprehension of the content shared previously. This could be beneficial when training is given to managers or supervisors who need to make critical decisions during potential problem situations. Training programs on workplace harassment, safety and HR can adopt the problem-solving approach when designing quizzes.
It is not just the format of questioning that is important; care should be taken to provide useful feedback to both right and wrong answers. The objective of quizzes or any form of assessment is not so much to judge the competence of learners but to help advance their knowledge or skills through self-evaluation. Is this too idealistic to ask for in an eLearning course? What do you think?