Our learning objectives may be solid, our content looks beautiful but what about our assessments? In these difficult times we must measure the effectiveness of our training and prove that important ROI, how can our assessment strategies help?

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Comment by Ken Jones on May 28, 2009 at 15:56
Is that a statement about our economic times, or the benefit we get from the learning?

Maybe just "LO" and everybody can choose what it means to them.
Comment by Lasher on May 28, 2009 at 15:51
Another term...

How about 'Payoffs'
Comment by Ken Jones on May 28, 2009 at 14:24
Forgive me Neil, you are right. Having a more technical development bent my mind generally thinks of self contained Learning Objects which have meaning, aremanageable and can be managed. It appears my brain decided that a natural extension would be to add "ive" :-(. Maybe there is another term that not quite as big as Learning Outcome it does feel rather grandiose for what might require one page of content and one question, not that I am suggesting a change as it can be as small as you like but just a perception thing, maybe because it is often used in the context of a whole course, just a thought.
Comment by Venkat on May 28, 2009 at 13:59
Assessment should be mapped to "the content between lines". I hope that is explicit. I will paraphrase that when I gather some spare time.
Comment by Lasher on May 28, 2009 at 13:46
Ah! Now you hit my button Ken...

Objectives? No surely those are yours, the corporate, the designer, the trainer... You have objectives to ensure that the learner leaves with an understanding of the subject.....

We must consider Learning Outcomes first, not Objectives. They are very different.

Should we not have our Objectives set in stone long before we get into the design of a course or the assessment, and, why should the objective have any bearing on the assessment process? If our objective is to test the user ad-nausium as we are doing presently in eLearning then we will eventually alienate them altogether.

Create the Learning outcomes and assessment can come from those outcomes, providing they happened.. Semantical I know, but a rather hot topic...


I agree we must not get into assessment driven learning, somebody called it learning by inquisition. I rather liked that term.
Comment by Ken Jones on May 28, 2009 at 13:18
I think Neil has a good point, however rather than focus on assessment surely creating the Learning Objectives first as they should be key to what questions you develop and of course, what instructional content should be created so the learner will understand enough to answer the question and meet the criteria set out in the LO.
Comment by Venkat on May 27, 2009 at 17:26
I completely agree with Neil Lasher with a minor but an important proviso. You can not completely swing towards Assessment driven content. Then you are in danger of "teaching to the exam". The current view is certainly is that of an after thought. You may ask why - my answer is that online assessment does not count towards any thing in the current curucculum at least in HE. I would like to be proved wrong, if there are any universitties who take into account a non-zero percentage towards the final mark for the student. I better stop there...
Comment by Lasher on May 27, 2009 at 9:58
I would like to get into this mix...

Running instructional design courses and speaking to many seeking the holy grail in assessment I find one very interesting common occurrence. Now I don't suggest for a minute that everyone falls into this, but it appears to be common.

Especially in eLearning courses are built, often by following ones knowledge rather than by pure design and then as an afterthought the content it trawled to try to find 20 questions to put into a bank to ask some or all of at the end, to prove what?

I now suggest that the whole instructional design process should start with the formation of the assessment. Then once you know what it is you are trying to assess, write the learning to teach it....

For some of you this is teaching your grandmother....... something about eggs!

But I am always surprised how many light-bulbs come on when I say this.
Comment by Venkat on May 13, 2009 at 9:25
e-Assessment in Practice, 11-12 November 2009, Shrivenham. The list of confirmed speakers are posted at
Please alert me if you are aware of any exciting projects in the field of e-Assessment.
Comment by Richard Gott on April 29, 2009 at 10:03
The Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA) National Assessment Conference is on 6th May:

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