Tuesday, May 14, 2013


This Friday when I picked up my 4th grade son from school, he was ready to talk:

4th grade Son: Hi Mom!

Janhavi: How was your day?

4th grade Son: OK, I guess.

Janhavi: You guess?

4th grade Son: It’s just… the quizzes.

Janhavi: Spelling, Vocabulary, Math.

4th grade Son: Yes! Why do we have to take them?

Janhavi: Hmmm … (I began to think about that.)

4th grade Son: Every Friday, Mom. Every Friday…

Janhavi: Let’s see … (How do I explain this? Just this week I was trying out a new assessment tool on the job.) I tested out the new Visual Assessment Evolve Interaction which is used to create assessments. In the new tool, you can ask questions after each topic (similar to a pop quiz in a classroom) or you can test the eLearner at the end of the class similar to your Friday quizzes. Assessments are necessary because they show how much you have learned.

4th grade Son: What is an assessment?

So that is what this week’s post is all about—assessments.

What is an Assessment?

“The act of appraising, appraisal, evaluation” is the definition for assessment in Dictionary.com.

Donald L. Kirkpatrick, one of the gurus on Learning and Training Evaluation, describes it as the 2nd level in his four levels of training evaluation:

  1. Reaction

  2. Learning

  3. Behavior

  4. Results

“Learning evaluation” according to Kirkpatrick, “is the measurement in the increase in knowledge—before and after.”

Why are they important?

Evaluations may be given before the eLearning class has been taken (sometimes to determine which class/module is appropriate) and then afterwards to determine the effectiveness of the eLearning itself. If eLearners do not pass the assessment, they can retake the class and the assessment.

Without taking an assessment, the eLearners cannot see what they’ve learned or what they need to learn. An assessment can also be used to show others, like a supervisor, that the student is able to perform a job. If a certificate is required, the eLearner may have to pass the assessment to obtain one.

When I think about my 4th grade days, I agree with my son that taking quizzes is just no fun.

See part two of this post tomorrow to learn about the new Visual Assessment interaction.


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