Creating tests: best practices
Why is testing necessary?
Tests and exams perform a number of essential functions:
- They help to understand what knowledge and skills your employees have acquired while doing their jobs or after completing a learning course.
- They serve as a source of feedback about the educational process: the way information is delivered, as well as the course’s structure.
- They can be learning opportunities unto themselves.
- They serve as a basis for certification.
- They give insights regarding the ways the learning process can be improved.
The principal objectives of tests and exams are to gauge the knowledge of learners and provide an opportunity for further learning. They help you understand how well the learners understood the new material, whether they were able to grasp the new concepts, and what additional clarifications are needed.
To learn effectively actual and actionable information, it is necessary to follow a number of rules. The less ambiguous the questions, the more relevant the results. Here are some guidelines that will help you construct better questions:
Guidelines for creating tests
- Construct a mind map of all the topics the course touches upon. Try to have a question about each of them.
- Keep it simple. A good question tests the learner’s knowledge and not his or her reading comprehension skills.
- Have a diverse range of questions. A good test includes questions of different types and varying difficulty.
- While formulating questions, use real-world situations your employees find themselves in regularly. For example, a customer reaching out to a business representative.
- Word questions positively - it improves knowledge retention. Questions worded negatively hinder and confuse the learner.
- Write concise and precise questions, but take care not to make the answer apparent from the question itself.
- Make sure that the answers to all questions in a test are constructed similarly and approximately the same length.
- Mix it up - every time you give a test to learners, shuffle the questions and possible answers.
- Keep answers to questions unambiguous, so that they cannot be interpreted in different ways. When writing text gap questions, make sure to specify in what format the answer must be provided.
- Whenever an employee answers incorrectly, try to understand what knowledge they are missing. Well-structured questions help in this regard.
- Use short scenarios leading up to questions to facilitate understanding and knowledge retention.
- If different questions have different weights, clearly mark the number of points awarded for answering correctly next to each question.
Keeping these guidelines in mind when creating tests in Geenio will greatly improve their quality and effectiveness. Well-crafted tests both assess learners’ knowledge and help them acquire and retain new information as well.