By: Stephen Reynolds
Everyone has been tested, assessed, quizzed, whatever in their lives that has ever had a single class in a school or homeschool setting. It is almost always categorized as a stressful situation that requires rote memorization and recalling information, which at times is viewed as useless bar trivia knowledge at best, and at worst something to immediately forget the second the testing is finished. The perception that testing is used to verify that the student/employee know what they need to know to pass or fail and move on is archaic in the extreme, testing needs to be viewed in a completely different light. The objective of testing is to evaluate three points on a learner’s timeline:
1. Baseline Knowledge
2. How Much The Student is Learning
3. Is The Student Proficient in What Was Taught
In a Corporate setting we can properly evaluate our employees by utilizing the concepts in education and applying them to our adult learners. I will discuss in further blogs in further depth on how they are used in education and how you can use them in a professional setting. This is the first of a three part blog series which will first cover the first of the three assessment types (see below).
4. Pre Assessment
Pre assessment is utilized in education to create an understanding of where students are in their current knowledge/skill set.
5. Formative Assessment
A range of formal and informal assessment procedures conducted by teachers/trainers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.
6. Summative Assessment
Used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of a defined instructional period—typically at the end of a project, unit, course, semester, program, or school year.
Definitions provided by: edglossary.org
This form of assessment is very important for the teacher/trainer as you generally do not know what your students/employees know. You may have an assumption on what skills and competencies they may have based on assumptions from previous trainings or their resumes.
Whether in education or the workplace, the objective of the pre assessment is exactly as described, find out what they know, and what they do not know, then plan accordingly. The general idea is to prepare your learners for the next level, hence, why they use this form of assessment. In a professional setting the idea is the same, however, one must find out what your employees know so as not to waste valuable training time “teaching” ideas/concepts/skills that they may already have. The quicker you are able to get your trainees onto their respective positions with the highest quality training you can provide is ultimately better for your company.
Below I have included a link from the Maine Support Network, titled “Strategies to Engage Adult Learners” for a multitude of pre assessment tasks and activities you can use to engage your adult employees in pre assessment. This attachment is asking teachers with grade level students to describe their classrooms, and how to better their students’ reading skills. These activities can be utilized with adults in any setting provided you can create the proper buy in for your employees.
As the sole trainer for BM2, I am constantly looking at various methods to approach and actively engage the adult learner. I believe incorporating this pre-assessment practice enhances the workplace and allows for a dynamic and rich learning environment that extends beyond the initial training phase. I respect my men and women for their active engagement and look forward to the discussion of the ladder two assessment techniques still to come.
For Further information, please visit: http://leadership.mainesupportnetwork.org/seminar/practice/structures.php