Performance testing, then, may be thought of as the process of presenting to learners a series of questions that require them to demonstrate their ability to discriminate and make correct decisions. The following discussion of major question types should help you develop questions that will identify and measure learner competencies.
NOTE: Depending upon the capability of your test creation software or your skill as a programmer, the following test type should enable you to measure learner competency.
The True/False question is perhaps the simplest form of test question that may be posed to a learner. While it is a very “closed” type of question, in that it only allows a “yes/no” response, true/false questions can have a wide range of uses. These uses include:
Because multiple choice questions present the learner with several possible answers, they are considered more open than true/false questions and may be designed in ways that require the learner to demonstrate a high level of discrimination and decision making skill. For example:
Hersey and Blanchard developed a model of leadership behavior known as Situational Leadership. Using this model, what type of leader would be an M1?To answer this question correctly, the learner would have to understand the Hersey-Blanchard model, the concepts of leader behavior as defined by the models four quadrants, the terms low/high task, low/high relationship, and the meaning of M1.
1. High Task, Low Relationship
2. High Task, High Relationship
3. Low Task, High Relationship
4. Low Task, Low Relationship
As with true/false questions, multiple choice questions may be used to:
Short Answer – Fill in the Blank
A slightly more open-ended method of testing is to ask a Fill in the Blank type of question. In this type of question, the learner can create an unlimited number of possible responses, only one of, which is correct. For example:
Who is the safety manager in this facility ____________________________
What do the letters TWA stand for? ____________________________
Fill in the blank questions tend to ask for specific information and are often difficult to use for test of conceptual and procedural understanding and ability.
Akin to Fill in the Blank questions is the Math Analysis type question. Using a calculator built into the lesson, math skill questions may be asked. For example:
What is the square root of 36? _________________
As with Fill in the Blank questions, Math Analysis questions tend to ask for specific information and are often difficult to use for the testing of conceptual and procedural understanding and ability.
Position Analysis questions asks the learner to locate and identify specific parts of a system. For example:
Locate the emergency stop button on the control panel of the K-1000 packing machine.
Matching questions require that the learner match one list of items with a second list. For example:
Match the following Personal Protection Equipment with the body part to be protected.
The computer can score all of the testing types thus far described, except for the essay question. A teacher still must score essay questions.
Software for Creating Test Questions
There a number of inexpensive or free software programs that develop tests and quizzes to be found on the Internet. Use the key words Create Internet Quizzes.
TIP: While there are a number of ways to create online tests, don’t forget that you can send out your test via e-mail to your learners and require that they return it to you within a specified period of time. It’s simple, neat, and it works!
RESOURCES FOR TRAINING ON THE INTERNET
Given the expenses associated with holding training sessions in diverse locations, it only makes sense to consider the saving that can be achieved by using the emerging Internet meeting tools. These tools are simple to use and will only improve in the future.Use the search terms Internet Conferencing to locate free or inexpensive resources
Other Links and Resources
How to Write an Internal Proposal for Funding Multimedia
How to Write a Request for Proposal (RFP)
CD-ROM / DVD
CD-ROMs are a popular and inexpensive media for distributing MTSs. CD-ROMs are used to store and playback a wide variety of media including video. A standard CD-ROM can hold 640M of data. An emerging version of the CD-ROM called DVD (Digital Video Disk) is able to record 4.7 Gigabytes or seven times the amount of data.
LOCAL AREA NETWORKS
Many organizations use local area networks. Both DOS and Windows based programs can be networked. Training programs that include video require special network systems. If you plan to use video in your training program, check with your MIS manager to make sure your LAN can run video.
INTER / INTRANETS
Many organizations are now using Intranets to deliver training. The principles and concepts presented in this guide by be used to develop training delivered by Inter / Intranets.
Electronic Performance Support Systems
Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) for Electronic Reference Libraries are powerful additions to improving human performance once a trainee returns to the workplace. Examples of EPSS would include price lists, parts lists, operating procedure outlines, diagnostic strategies, and decision trees. Text, illustrations, photos and even video can be included in an EPSS. EPSS are job aids that help trainees to bridge the performance gap between training and on-the-job performance. Many MTSs today incorporate an EPSS as part of the training program. Once the trainee returns to the workplace, the EPSS may be found on a computer in the trainee’s work area. An example of an MTS/EPSS system would be to train and employee in the area of Hazard Communication / Right to Know. Part of the training would include a section on MSDSs and how to use them. An EPSS composed on MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets) would be developed and installed on a local area network. When the employee returned to work, and needed an MSDS, the employee would have the training and online resources to look up and use the information needed to perform the job more productively.
While there is no way to cover in-depth all the aspects related to the design and development of multimedia training systems, it is hoped that this guide will assist you in your efforts as you design you MTS lessons.