Whether you call them quizzes, knowledge checks or tests, one thing is the same: most of your learners are dreading the last page of their eLearning course.
Put the fun in functional with these ideas for eLearning assessments.
Add the Element of Chance
Even when learners get a question correct, there remains an additional level of risk or chance associated with the right answer. Examples of this approach include gaining the opportunity to throw a dart, spin a wheel or roll a ball to knock down pins. All of these activities can be for points. Since each correct answer ends up being worth a variable amount, this removes elements of predictability and adds a dimension of playful chance. The user no longer knows for sure how this quiz ends. In this case, the right answer is simply the buy in to participate in an activity. When assessments involve elements of play, the user has an easy time forgetting they are being assessed.
Call on a Sense of Adventure
Participating in adventures is not merely reserved for those who look smashing in a fedora. In fact, any developer can infuse a sense of adventure into their courses. Depending on your audience, you may be inspired by a plot from some stellar book or movie and enlist the learner’s help in discovering a long lost treasure or call on their expertise to help outsmart a pending alien invasion. For those craving a more mild adventure, let the correct answers advance a character through a maze to achieve collecting some coveted item (ie., the deluxe office chair with adjustable back support and armrests, an office with a view, etc.) Learners enjoy the accomplishment of completing a mission while simultaneously providing answers that reflect their knowledge.
Tell a Story
In a dream world, your SME will have provided you rich stories—complete with context and characters—for you to incorporate in a cohesive storyline which you can craft around an assessment. But just in case you’ve not met this dream resource, you can dig around a little and create a storyline that is both meaningful to the learner and relevant to the content. This may mean hanging out at your local coffee shop to see about some customer service stories, watching the new skinny house being built to get material for safety standards or reading unabashed posts by professionals via social media. Any time spent digging into the community your story should reach is time well spent. Creating a storyline is like connecting the dots between distinct events. Just try to brainstorm possible scenarios to fill in those blank spaces between the real life details. Learners can get so carried away that they’re left disappointed when the assessment ends.
Fun activities tend to relax and engage a user, and we all know relaxed and engaged are prime traits for positive learning experiences. Next time you are forming an assessment, try delighting your users with a fun twist, it will be a welcome treat. For more on the topic, view Dr. Chris Haskell’s presentation A head of the Game: The data behind innovative, blended, and game-based learning.
Passionate about learning, Angi Lewis in an independent Instructional Designer & elearning Developer.