Growing up, learning to play the clarinet… I sure hit my share of sour notes. But with practice, I learned to play and won many state competitions. We could say the same for many of our learners, they too make mistakes while learning new tasks or concepts. They just need practice to build their knowledge.
So how do we test their knowledge? Usually in eLearning courses, we measure our learner’s progress using knowledge checks, quizzes, or some type of tests. Does one test question prove a learner’s ability to perform a task? How many questions are appropriate to determine that the student or learner has mastered a task or concept in eLearning courses? Should we test with questions at all? Why not use simulated practices so they learn from “real-life” scenarios?
I think the harder question is, what is an acceptable passing score on a knowledge check or course test? Is it 75%, 80%, 90%, 100%? What criteria do you use to determine passing scores? If you are quizzing a Pilot in a flight simulation, is 80% enough to make you want to jump on the next flight with him as the Pilot? Or what about a Doctor learning how to diagnose diseases, is 90% enough to pass a test on identifying fatal diseases? I know I would not like to be in that doctor’s office if he or she makes that one mistake. Nor do I want to be on that plane where 80% is good enough to be allowed to fly cross country. Scary, right?
As project managers, we need to work closely with our Subject Matter Experts to identify the purpose of testing and accurately determine what a passing score should be. Using their expertise of an SME will allow you to determine an acceptable passing score. And when you begin the course design process with clear objectives, it is easy first to identify or write your test questions/scenarios, then build the course content to support those questions or concepts.
What are your thoughts? What is an acceptable test score for your eLearning courses? I invite you to share in the comments section below.