Using Games to Assess Trainees
In today's workplace, how often do we really assess what our employees know? Can you imagine during a training session, giving a “pop” quiz? It sounds plausible and even reasonable, but the reality is, in many workplaces this rarely happens. So how can you assess your employee's knowledge in a friendly and productive way without intimidating them or putting them on the defensive? Well, the answer to that may vary depending on what your objective is. Here are four options for assessment, that involve using games and Audience Response Pads1. Assess what they know as you deliver information in the classroom. Wouldn't it be great if, as you deliver a topic, you could have a basic knowledge of what your audience knows about the subject as you deliver it? In this scenario, you can adjust your delivery based on what the audience knows, real-time. So, if you find that on a particular question or topic that most people got it wrong, you can adjust your talk tract to go into greater detail.
2. Assess what they know without them knowing it. This is a great way to assess what your audience knows (and their depth of knowledge) and can help you assess the effectiveness of your training.
3. Assess each trainee individually in a training session. This is a way to track individual's knowledge of a topic while providing group training.
4. Use the audience response pads with a game so that everyone participates. Truly making a game that everyone is a participant. And behind the scenes you collect data on what your audience knows.
Audience Response Pads Probably one of the fastest growing trends in training is the use of Audience Response Pads or ARS. These devices are commonly used with PowerPoint as a polling device or as a way to deliver Q and A. In the later, results may be shared in the classroom or reviewed later, to determine how each trainee answered.
Using Games and Audience Response Pads Assessing student comprehension can be tricky. Sometimes the best way to see what your students know, is to do it in a way that is non-threatening, where they do not know they are being assessed. Games played with audience response pads provide you a way to employ this method. Imagine this: you set up a game with questions based on your subject, you then break your audience into teams, and each member of each team has their own audience response pad. In this scenario, trainees get the sense that they are involved in a team game. To the audience it looks and feels like a game, but in reality it is a serious assessment tool, as you track individual answers.
This puts a different twist on using games to review. Many instructors understand the power of games as a way to review content. Now, you can not only review content that you've presented, but also assess your trainees' understanding of your material.
Things to keep in mind: With this method, you can know which concepts the group is having difficulty grasping. By assigning a specific clicker with a unique identifier to each player, you can also know how each student did with each of the questions. By tracking individual answers, you can identify people that may be having difficulty with the information and determine steps for remediation.
Another thing to consider, if you want to truly assess what your audience knows as individuals, is how they are grouped in a training room. Since the teams are based off of the response pads, players for a team can be spread out, to discourage the sharing of answers among team members. This is dramatically different from a conventional game format, where a team will collaborate to come up with an answer.
If you want to get a sense of what your employees know, you may be better off to hand out the response pads and not specifically assigned them to a person. If you want to know how specific individuals are doing, you can assign a specific response pad to each student. This will allow you to compare knowledge student by student. Keep in mind, many audiences are savvy enough to know the difference, and the results may vary if your audience thinks they are being assessed. So, sometimes keeping the results anonymous has its advantages. If you choose this option, just hand out the response pads without assigning them to individuals In a more conventional training environment, you may want to track individual responses to questions. This will allow you to assess each student's progress.
Using Audience Response Pads pads, combined with a game, creates a unique way for you to gather information on what your audience has learned. You can effectively gather information that will help you identify areas that may need improvement in your current training sessions. You have a lot of options, when using Audience Response Pads, to get your students more involved in the training process and help you gather information.