If you want people to learn, you must be given opportunities - ideally every 1.5-2.5 minutes - to process what they have learned. Depending on what they must process, we use scenarios, case studies, and other devices to authentically link learning to their workplace experience. The more we creatively foster repetition in what people learn, the more like it is that they will remember it.
When requiring learners to retake a post-test, it is advisable to provide them with different assessment items that have been focus-group validated as testing understanding and skill in the same learning objectives. Change By Design can build multiple versions of pre- and post-test questions aligned to specific learning objectives to make sure that you capture what has truly been learned.
Our Recommended Test Development Methodology
When our client requires testing rigor, we recommend a three-step process.
- Identify the Assessment Framework
- Develop an Assessment Plan
- Develop the Pre/Post-Test
This first document serves as the basis for the development of knowledge checks and pre- and post-test items. We use this as the basis for our client discussions to help them decide such matters as the types of assessment items they want to use, % emphasis on each learning objective, how many opportunities for remediation they would want, and what learning objectives would be best served with scenario and case study as the basis for a series of questions. We always prefer close collaboration with our subject matter experts to make sure our test items are valid and reliable.
Once we understand out client's preferences, we break out the number of assessment items by learning objective and recommend the structure for each test item (multiple choice, multiple select, matching, true/false, short answer, etc.) We prefer the use of case study (or scenario)-driven questions, where relevant. Whatever form the plan takes, we see this as a collaboration with SMEs to determine the best way forward.
DEVELOP THE PRE/POST-TEST
Our last step in this process is to develop the test items themselves. These can be only post-test items, or they can be pre-test items as well. We make sure that sufficient test questions match the required rigor described in the assessment plan.