Evaluation or assessment means those activities designed to measure learner achievement brought about as a result of an instructional employee training program of some sort.
Selecting appropriate teaching and learning methods for achieving organization goals, and putting the chosen methods into practice by operating the course or curriculum was successful by means of a linked process of assessment and evaluation.
How to Evaluate Your Employee Training Program
Following are the steps in the assessment or evaluation of an employee training program:
1. Identifying the Mode of Assessment to be Employed
This will first involve determining the assessment is to be:
- External or internal.
- Formative or Summative.
- Terminal or Continuous.
You will then have to establish (or, if you have some control over matters, decide) whether the assessment is to be:
- Norms referenced, criterion-referenced, or ipsative.
- Closed book or open book.
- Written, oral, or situational.
- Manual or computer-administered.
Finally, if the assessment is to be internal rather than external, you will have to decide whether you wish to make any use of peer assessment or self-assessment.
2. Determining what Type of Skills/Competencies are to be Assessed
If you are satisfied that you know exactly what type of skills or competencies you wish to assess, proceed directly to step 3.
If not, clarify these now, referring to the appropriate course unit descriptor (or the equivalent) or consulting if necessary.
3. Provisional Selection of Assessment Method
If you are an experienced teacher, you will probably be able to choose an appropriate method (or a mix of methods) for assessing a particular skill, competence, etc on the basis of gut feeling or instinct.
If so proceed directly to stage 4. If not, you may find the following general pointers of some assistance.
- Assessing lower cognitive skills or competences. Here, the most obvious methods are tests or examinations of the objective or short answer type, although you may also wish to consider the use of short notes questions.
- Assessing higher cognitive skills/competencies. The methods that are suitable for assessing lower cognitive skills/competencies are less suitable here, although they can be used if a little ingenuity is employed. Tests, examinations, and assignments based on extended answer questions came into their own in this area, as do other types of assignments and projects. Situational assessment should also e considered, particularly if you are tiring to assess a broad group of skills or a multi-faceted competence.
- Assessing effective skills or competences. These are probably most of all to assess. All the various methods that are suitable for assessing higher cognitive skills/competencies can again be used in this area, with oral assessment and portfolios being suitable methods in some cases.
- Assessing psychomotor skills. Here, the various types of practice tests clearly come into their own, as do the various forums of situational assessment. Assignments and projects can also be used to assess this area.
- Assessing interpersonal skills or competences. Here, it is obviously necessary to set the students a task that requires them to use the particular interpersonal skills that can be tested by getting them to write an essay, produce a seminar paper or report, and so on. Oral communication skills can be tested by placing them in a situation where they have to speak, eg by making them give an oral presentation of some sort. Interpersonal and leadership skills/competencies are probably best assessed through some form of situational assessment, group project, or a portfolio, and may well require some form of peer assessment to be incorporated.
When assessing groups of skills or multi-faceted competences, it may be necessary to employ a battery of complementary assessment methods or to carry out the assessment in the context of an integrative activity such as work-based experience or placement.
4. Applying the Criteria for Good Students Assessment
Here, the best way to proceed is probably to ask yourself the following five questions:
- Will my chosen methods have sufficiently high validity?
- Will the method be sufficiently reliable?
- Will the method be sufficiently practicable?
- Will the methods be fair to the students?
- Will the methods be useful to the students?
It may not, of course, be possible to meet all these criteria fully (like, when trying to balance the need form high validity with practicability), but, whatever compromise you come up with, your assessment scheme must be fair to the students.
5. Determining whether You will be Comfortable wit the Chosen Methods
There is no point in trying to use assessment methods will which you yourself do not feel comfortable.
If you are not happy with a particular method, see of another method with which you would feel comfortable could be used instead, or take appropriate steps to ensure that you will feel comfortable with the method when you use it.
6. Determining Whether You will be Allowed to Use the Method
This is so obvious a question that it is often not even asked, but it is extremely important.
Make sure that what you are proposing to do is descriptor (or the equivalent), and, if necessary, find out whether your colleague’s/subject leader/course leader will be happy with your plans.
If not, persuade them or think again.
7. Carrying out the Assessment with Your Students
If your ideas have come through steps 4-6 unscathed, carry out any preparatory work needed to put them into practice.
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