Training Providers - Has this Ever Happened to You?
You’ve taught the material that you needed to. You’ve had good discussion with your students, and they really seem to know their stuff. They’ve completed review sessions, and you’ve written a fair but challenging test. You’re almost excited to grade the tests to see how well they’ve done. But while you’re grading, you start noticing that many of your students did not do very well. In fact, many of them failed! The more you grade, the more frustrated you get at your students. They must not have studied well enough!
You're Not Alone - Problems with Tests Happen
At some point, every training provider has had this happen. It’s very discouraging to have students fail an assessment and it’s easy to blame them for being lazy or not trying hard enough. Before you pin the majority of the fault on your students, you need to reflect upon your teaching and the assessment tool first.
Here are three things you should ask yourself:
- Did I do my job? Remember, it is your job as a teacher to cause your students to learn. Did you teach in an engaging, dynamic way? Were you just trying to get through the material or were you teaching effectively? Think back through your lessons and be honest with yourself. If your teaching was the problem, go back and reteach!
- Did the assessment match my instruction? It’s important to make sure the assessment tool is comparable to how you taught the material. Many teachers have access to test banks, but be careful that you don’t inadvertently set your students up for failure by choosing a test that is drastically different from how you presented the information.
- Which aspects of the assessment were the most troublesome? Do an error analysis of the exam. Go through each question and tally how many students missed that particular question. If more than half of your students missed the same question, you should consider throwing it out or reteaching that area of content. One tip for those of you using Training Administration Software - you should be able to easily see how your class performed by looking at your course reports.
Don’t be afraid to completely throw out a test after evaluating it’s effectiveness, or lack thereof. It is absolutely acceptable to reteach and reassess until your students have gained a higher level of mastery. More often than not, if you have taught in a way that is easily understood and easily retained your students will achieve.
Analysing and troubleshooting assessments is a critical part of delivering quality training, and paying attention to this area will set you apart from other training providers.
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