eLearning Assessments: My Troubles

It’s been a few months sice my last post – if you remember, I was very active back in February during the annual ITC eLearning Conference. I’ve thought about posting something new for the last few weeks, but I’ve had a hard time figuring out what exactly I wanted to blog about. Some of the things I’m working on are interesting, but my employer has a persistent concern about proprietary information. While I don’t always share this concern, I’ve respected it and done what I can to ensure that I keep some projects close to the vest.One of the things that I have been working on lately, however, has been the creation of training material for our employees. This is a very wide concept, since training can take various forms, target different audiences, objectives, etc. One of the most challenging types of professional development that I’m working on is self-service video content that spans a wide array of specific topics. It’s not that video content, in general, is difficult to produce. The challenging component is that there isn’t enough time in the day for me to focus on putting out all of the requested topics in a timely manner. Just yesterday, for example, I created 7 videos – all of which were focused around our email platform. Our email platform is just 1 of at least a dozen topics that I have received requests for video training. The problem is that other projects have a higher priority. From strategic training programs to bug fixes, and software implementations, my time gets stretched pretty thin. I love doing video trainings, I just wish I had more time.Onto the actual goal for this post… For the last year or so, I have been strategically moving our organization from long 45-minute training modules to more concise, 2-5 minute videos on specific tasks/topics. Studies have shown that the younger generations learn better that way, especially in a lean organization where we don’t necessarily have time to sit down and watch a 45-minute training module. This shift has yielded mixed responses. The most impactful “negative” response to this change has been about the way knowledge is assessed at the end of the videos. When working with a longer module, instructional designers can integrate assessments mid-way through the module, provide feedback, etc. However with the short 2-3 minute videos, the software used is different and doesn’t lend itself to any built-in assessments. It’s feasible that there could be 10-12 videos around a single topic, so one thought could be to incorporate an assessment at the end of the grouping. However, since employees could jump around within a topic to obtain the skills they’re specifically looking for, the summative assessment would cover more topics than an employee would have learned. Then what?I guess what I’m looking for by posting this is any feedback instructional designers, eLearning professionals, curriculum designers, assessment professionals, etc. might have on this particular topic. Do I stick to the summative assessment, build a short 1-2 question assessment for each and every video, or some other option?Thanks in advance!

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